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Burundi Economy Profile 2017

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Economy - overviewBurundi is a landlocked, resource-poor country with an underdeveloped manufacturing sector. Agriculture accounts for over 40% of GDP and employs more than 90% of the population. Burundi's primary exports are coffee and tea, which account for more than 60% of foreign exchange earnings. Thus, Burundi's export earnings - and its ability to pay for imports - rest primarily on weather conditions and international coffee and tea prices, although exports are a relatively small share of GDP. Burundi is heavily dependent on aid from bilateral and multilateral donors. Foreign aid represented 48% of Burundi's national income in 2015, one of the highest percentages in Sub-Saharan Africa, but decreased to 33.5% in 2016. Burundi joined the East African Community (EAC) in 2009.

The 1993-2005 civil war resulted in more than 200,000 deaths, forced more than 48,000 refugees into Tanzania, and displaced 140,000 others internally. Political stability, aid flows, and economic activity improved following the war’s end, but underlying weaknesses – low governmental capacity, a high poverty rate, poor educational levels, a weak legal system, a poor transportation network, and overburdened utilities – have prevented the implementation of planned economic reforms. Government corruption has also hindered the development of a private sector. The purchasing power of most Burundians has decreased as wage increases have not kept pace with inflation.

In 2015, Burundi’s economy suffered from political turmoil, including street protests and an attempted coup, following President NKURUNZIZA’s controversial announcement that he would run for a third term. Insecurity and refugee flows to neighboring countries slowed down economic activity and donors withdrew aid, increasing Burundi’s budget deficit and decreasing hard currency reserves. Real GDP growth dropped precipitously and has yet to recover to pre-conflict levels.
GDP (purchasing power parity)$7.892 billion (2016 est.)
$7.933 billion (2015 est.)
$8.259 billion (2014 est.)
note: data are in 2016 dollars
GDP (official exchange rate)$2.742 billion (2016 est.)
GDP - real growth rate-0.5% (2016 est.)
-4% (2015 est.)
4.5% (2014 est.)
GDP - per capita (PPP)$800 (2016 est.)
$800 (2015 est.)
$900 (2014 est.)
note: data are in 2016 dollars
Gross national saving-0.1% of GDP (2016 est.)
-4.9% of GDP (2015 est.)
-2.7% of GDP (2014 est.)
GDP - composition, by end usehousehold consumption: 92.4%
government consumption: 16.5%
investment in fixed capital: 24.3%
investment in inventories: -8.1%
exports of goods and services: 7.5%
imports of goods and services: -32.6% (2016 est.)
GDP - composition by sectoragriculture: 45.8%
industry: 17.1%
services: 37.1% (2016 est.)
Population below poverty line64.6% (2014 est.)
Labor force5.255 million (2016 est.)
Labor force - by occupationagriculture: 93.6%
industry: 2.3%
services: 4.1% (2002 est.)
Unemployment rateNA%
Household income or consumption by percentage sharelowest 10%: 4.1%
highest 10%: 28% (2006)
Distribution of family income - Gini index42.4 (1998)
Budgetrevenues: $525.1 million
expenditures: $656.9 million (2016 est.)
Taxes and other revenues19.2% of GDP (2016 est.)
Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-)-4.8% of GDP (2016 est.)
Public debt43.4% of GDP (2016 est.)
39.8% of GDP (2015 est.)
Inflation rate (consumer prices)6.5% (2016 est.)
5.5% (2015 est.)
Central bank discount rate11.25% (31 December 2010)
10% (31 December 2009)
Commercial bank prime lending rate13.9% (31 December 2016 est.)
15.3% (31 December 2015 est.)
Stock of narrow money$364.9 million (31 December 2016 est.)
$397.7 million (31 December 2015 est.)
Stock of broad money$523.5 million (31 December 2016 est.)
$571.2 million (31 December 2015 est.)
Stock of domestic credit$809.8 million (31 December 2016 est.)
$851.3 million (31 December 2015 est.)
Market value of publicly traded shares$NA
Agriculture - productscoffee, cotton, tea, corn, beans, sorghum, sweet potatoes, bananas, cassava (manioc, tapioca); beef, milk, hides
Industrieslight consumer goods ( sugar, shoes, soap, beer); cement, assembly of imported components; public works construction; food processing (fruits)
Industrial production growth rate0.8% (2016 est.)
Current Account Balance-$536 million (2016 est.)
-$661 million (2015 est.)
Exports$132.4 million (2016 est.)
$119.6 million (2015 est.)
Exports - commoditiescoffee, tea, sugar, cotton, hides
Exports - partnersGermany 12.9%, Pakistan 11.2%, Democratic Republic of the Congo 11.2%, Uganda 8.5%, Sweden 8.2%, US 7.5%, Belgium 6.6%, Rwanda 4.8%, France 4.6% (2015)
Imports$683.4 million (2016 est.)
$800.1 million (2015 est.)
Imports - commoditiescapital goods, petroleum products, foodstuffs
Imports - partnersKenya 15%, Saudi Arabia 14%, Belgium 10%, Tanzania 8.4%, Uganda 7.4%, China 7.1%, India 4.9%, France 4% (2015)
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold$100.2 million (31 December 2016 est.)
$136.2 million (31 December 2015 est.)
Debt - external$705.2 million (31 December 2016 est.)
$684.1 million (31 December 2015 est.)
Exchange ratesBurundi francs (BIF) per US dollar -
1,665 (2016 est.)
1,571.9 (2015 est.)
1,571.9 (2014 est.)
1,546.7 (2013 est.)
1,442.51 (2012 est.)
Fiscal yearcalendar year

Source: CIA World Factbook
This page was last updated on July 9, 2017

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