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Central African Republic Economy Profile 2016

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Economy - overviewSubsistence agriculture, together with forestry and mining, remains the backbone of the economy of the Central African Republic (CAR), with about 60% of the population living in outlying areas. The agricultural sector generates more than half of GDP. Timber and diamonds account for most export earnings, followed by cotton. Important constraints to economic development include the CAR's landlocked geography, poor transportation system, largely unskilled work force, and legacy of misdirected macroeconomic policies. Factional fighting between the government and its opponents remains a drag on economic revitalization. Distribution of income is extraordinarily unequal. Grants from France and the international community can only partially meet humanitarian needs.

Since 2009, the IMF has worked closely with the government to institute reforms that have resulted in some improvement in budget transparency, but other problems remain. The government's additional spending in the run-up to the 2011 election worsened CAR's fiscal situation. In 2012, the World Bank approved $125 million in funding for transport infrastructure and regional trade, focused on the route between CAR's capital and the port of Douala in Cameroon. After a two-year lag in donor support, the IMF's first review of CAR's extended credit facility for 2012-15 praised improvements in revenue collection but warned of weak management of spending.

Kimberley Process participants partially lifted the ban on diamond exports from the country in 2015, but persistent insecurity will prevent GDP from recovering to its pre-2013 level.
GDP (purchasing power parity)$3.018 billion (2015 est.)
$2.893 billion (2014 est.)
$2.864 billion (2013 est.)
note: data are in 2015 US dollars
GDP (official exchange rate)$1.605 billion (2015 est.)
GDP - real growth rate4.3% (2015 est.)
1% (2014 est.)
-36% (2013 est.)
GDP - per capita (PPP)$600 (2015 est.)
$600 (2014 est.)
$600 (2013 est.)
note: data are in 2015 US dollars
Gross national saving1.7% of GDP (2015 est.)
4.7% of GDP (2014 est.)
5.7% of GDP (2013 est.)
GDP - composition, by end usehousehold consumption: 107.3%
government consumption: 8.2%
investment in fixed capital: 13.7%
investment in inventories: 0%
exports of goods and services: 11.3%
imports of goods and services: -40.5% (2015 est.)
GDP - composition by sectoragriculture: 58.3%
industry: 11.9%
services: 29.9% (2015 est.)
Population below poverty lineNA%
Labor force2.306 million (2015 est.)
Unemployment rate8% (2001 est.)
note: 23% unemployment in the capital, Bangui
Household income or consumption by percentage sharelowest 10%: 2.1%
highest 10%: 33% (2003)
Distribution of family income - Gini index61.3 (1993)
Budgetrevenues: $212 million
expenditures: $253.4 million (2015 est.)
Taxes and other revenues13.1% of GDP (2015 est.)
Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-)-2.6% of GDP (2015 est.)
Inflation rate (consumer prices)5.4% (2015 est.)
11.6% (2014 est.)
Central bank discount rate4.25% (31 December 2009)
4.75% (31 December 2008)
Commercial bank prime lending rate15.5% (31 December 2015 est.)
15% (31 December 2014 est.)
Stock of narrow money$322.4 million (31 December 2015 est.)
$376.7 million (31 December 2014 est.)
Stock of broad money$410.4 million (31 December 2015 est.)
$454.7 million (31 December 2014 est.)
Stock of domestic credit$428.2 million (31 December 2015 est.)
$457.8 million (31 December 2014 est.)
Market value of publicly traded shares$NA
Agriculture - productscotton, coffee, tobacco, cassava (manioc, tapioca), yams, millet, corn, bananas; timber
Industriesgold and diamond mining, logging, brewing, sugar refining
Industrial production growth rate4% (2015 est.)
Current Account Balance-$205 million (2015 est.)
-$95 million (2014 est.)
Exports$172.8 million (2015 est.)
$150.3 million (2014 est.)
Exports - commoditiesdiamonds, timber, cotton, coffee
Exports - partnersNorway 52.2%, China 14.1%, Democratic Republic of the Congo 8.3% (2015)
Imports$264.9 million (2015 est.)
$279.1 million (2014 est.)
Imports - commoditiesfood, textiles, petroleum products, machinery, electrical equipment, motor vehicles, chemicals, pharmaceuticals
Imports - partnersNorway 39.5%, France 6.8%, US 4.6% (2015)
Debt - external$630.1 million (31 December 2014 est.)
$574.4 million (31 December 2013 est.)
Exchange ratesCooperation Financiere en Afrique Centrale francs (XAF) per US dollar -
580.5 (2015 est.)
494.42 (2014 est.)
494.42 (2013 est.)
510.53 (2012 est.)
471.87 (2011 est.)
Fiscal yearcalendar year

Source: CIA World Factbook
This page was last updated on October 8, 2016

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