Economy in Sierra Leone

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Economy—overview: Sierra Leone has substantial mineral agricultural and fishery resources. However the economic and social infrastructure is not well developed and serious social disorders continue to hamper economic development. The seizure of power by the new Armed Forces Revolutionary Council (AFRC) in May 1997 led to UN sanctions and a sharp drop in GDP. About two-thirds of the working-age population engages in subsistence agriculture. Manufacturing consists mainly of the processing of raw materials and of light manufacturing for the domestic market. Bauxite and rutile mines have been shut down by civil strife. The major source of hard currency is found in the mining of diamonds the large majority of which are smuggled out of the country.

GDP: purchasing power parity—$2.65 billion (1997 est.)

GDP—real growth rate: -27% (1997 est.)

GDP—per capita: purchasing power parity—$540 (1997 est.)

GDP—composition by sector:

agriculture: 39%

industry: 27%

services: 34% (1995)

Inflation rate—consumer price index: 40% (1997 est.)

Labor force:

total: 1.369 million (1981 est.)

by occupation: agriculture 65% industry 19% services 16% (1981 est.)

note: only about 65 000 wage earners (1985)

Unemployment rate: NA%

Budget:

revenues: $96 million

expenditures: $150 million including capital expenditures of $NA (1996 est.)

Industries: mining (diamonds); small-scale manufacturing (beverages textiles cigarettes footwear); petroleum refining

Industrial production growth rate: NA%

Electricity—capacity: 126 000 kW (1995)

Electricity—production: 230 million kWh (1995)

Electricity—consumption per capita: 48 kWh (1995)

Agriculture—products: rice coffee cocoa palm kernels palm oil peanuts; poultry cattle sheep pigs; fish

Exports:

total value: $47 million (f.o.b. 1996); note—much reduced in 1997 by civil warfare

commodities: diamonds rutile cocoa coffee fish

partners: US 20% Belgium 20% Spain 13% UK 6% other Western Europe

Imports:

total value: $211 million (c.i.f. 1996)

commodities: foodstuffs machinery and equipment fuels and lubricants

partners: Cote d'Ivoire EU countries India

Debt—external: $1.1 billion (1996)

Economic aid:

recipient: ODA $NA

Currency: 1 leone (Le) = 100 cents

Exchange rates: leones (Le) per US$1—1 312.37 (December 1997) 967.72 (1997) 920.73 (1996) 755.22 (1995) 586.74 (1994) 567.46 (1993)

Fiscal year: 1 July—30 June

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