Economy of the Central African Republic

Mother Earth Travel > Country Index > Central African Republic Map Economy History

Economy - overview: Subsistence agriculture, together with forestry, remains the backbone of the economy of the Central African Republic (CAR), with more than 70% of the population living in outlying areas. The agricultural sector generates half of GDP. Timber has accounted for about 16% of export earnings and the diamond industry for nearly 54%. Important constraints to economic development include the CAR's landlocked position, a poor transportation system, a largely unskilled work force, and a legacy of misdirected macroeconomic policies. The 50% devaluation of the currencies of 14 Francophone African nations on 12 January 1994 had mixed effects on the CAR's economy. Diamond, timber, coffee, and cotton exports increased, leading an estimated rise of GDP of 7% in 1994 and nearly 5% in 1995. Military rebellions and social unrest in 1996 were accompanied by widespread destruction of property and a drop in GDP of 2%. The IMF approved an Extended Structure Adjustment Facility in 1998 and the World Bank extended further credits in 1999 and approved a $10 million loan in early 2001. The government has set targets of 3.5% GDP growth in 2001 and 2002. As of January 2001, many civil servants were owed as much as 30 months pay, leading them to go on strike and further damaging the economy.

GDP: purchasing power parity - $6.1 billion (2000 est.)
GDP - real growth rate: 5% (1999 est.), 3.5% (2000 est.)
GDP - per capita: purchasing power parity - $1,700 (2000 est.)
GDP - composition by sector:
agriculture:  53%
industry:  20%
services:  27% (1999 est.)
Household income or consumption by percentage share:
lowest 10%: 0.7%
highest 10%: 47.7% (1993)
Inflation rate (consumer prices): 2.6% (1999 est.), 3% (2000 est.)
Unemployment rate: 6% (1993)
Budget:
revenues: $638 million
expenditures: $1.9 billion, including capital expenditures of $888 million (1994 est.)
Industries: diamond mining, sawmills, breweries, textiles, footwear, assembly of bicycles and motorcycles
Electricity - production: 102 million kWh (1999)
Electricity - production by source:
fossil fuel:  20.59%
hydro:  79.41%
nuclear:  0%
other:  0% (1999)
Agriculture - products: cotton, coffee, tobacco, manioc (tapioca), yams, millet, corn, bananas; timber
Exports: $195 million (f.o.b., 1999), $166 million (f.o.b., 2000)
Exports - commodities: diamonds, timber, cotton, coffee, tobacco
Exports - partners: Benelux 64%, Cote d'Ivoire, Spain, China, Egypt, France (1999)
Imports: $170 million (f.o.b., 1999), $154 million (f.o.b., 2000)
Imports - commodities: food, textiles, petroleum products, machinery, electrical equipment, motor vehicles, chemicals, pharmaceuticals, consumer goods, industrial products
Imports - partners: France 35%, Cameroon 13%, Benelux, Cote d'Ivoire, Germany, Japan (1999)
Debt - external: $790 million (1999 est.)
Economic aid - recipient: $172.2 million (1995); note - traditional budget subsidies from France
Currency: Communaute Financiere Africaine franc (XAF); note - responsible authority is the Bank of the Central African States

SOURCE: The World Factbook

Mother Earth Travel > Country Index > Central African Republic Map Economy History