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Central African Republic Economy Profile 2013

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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 position, a poor transportation system, a largely unskilled work force, and a legacy of misdirected macroeconomic policies. Factional fighting between the government and its opponents remains a drag on economic revitalization. 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 election in 2011 worsened CAR's fiscal situation. Distribution of income is extraordinarily unequal. Grants from France and the international community can only partially meet humanitarian needs. 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.
GDP (purchasing power parity)$3.955 billion (2012 est.)
$3.799 billion (2011 est.)
$3.677 billion (2010 est.)
note: data are in 2012 US dollars
GDP (official exchange rate)$2.172 billion (2012 est.)
GDP - real growth rate4.1% (2012 est.)
3.3% (2011 est.)
3% (2010 est.)
GDP - per capita (PPP)$800 (2012 est.)
$800 (2011 est.)
$800 (2010 est.)
note: data are in 2012 US dollars
Gross national saving4.9% of GDP (2012 est.)
3.6% of GDP (2011 est.)
4% of GDP (2010 est.)
GDP - composition, by end usehousehold consumption: 89.5%
government consumption: 8.1%
investment in fixed capital: 12.5%
investment in inventories: 0%
exports of goods and services: 12.5%
imports of goods and services: -22.7%
(2012 est.)
GDP - composition by sectoragriculture: 55.8%
industry: 14.8%
services: 29.5% (2012 est.)
Population below poverty lineNA%
Labor force1.926 million (2007)
Unemployment rate8% (2001 est.)
note: 23% unemployment in Bangui
Household income or consumption by percentage sharelowest 10%: 2.1%
highest 10%: 33% (2003)
Distribution of family income - Gini index61.3 (1993)
Budgetrevenues: $340.8 million
expenditures: $356.9 million (2012 est.)
Taxes and other revenues15.7% of GDP (2012 est.)
Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-)-0.7% of GDP (2012 est.)
Inflation rate (consumer prices)5% (2012 est.)
1.3% (2011 est.)
Central bank discount rate4.25% (31 December 2009)
4.75% (31 December 2008)
Commercial bank prime lending rate15% (31 December 2012 est.)
15% (31 December 2011 est.)
Stock of narrow money$349 million (31 December 2012 est.)
$329.7 million (31 December 2011 est.)
Stock of broad money$459.7 million (31 December 2012 est.)
$406.6 million (31 December 2011 est.)
Stock of domestic credit$488.6 million (31 December 2012 est.)
$444.7 million (31 December 2011 est.)
Market value of publicly traded shares$NA
Agriculture - productscotton, coffee, tobacco, manioc (tapioca), yams, millet, corn, bananas; timber
Industriesgold and diamond mining, logging, brewing, sugar refining
Industrial production growth rate3% (2012 est.)
Current Account Balance-$179.5 million (2012 est.)
-$191.4 million (2011 est.)
Exports$208 million (2012 est.)
$186.3 million (2011 est.)
Exports - commoditiesdiamonds, timber, cotton, coffee
Exports - partnersBelgium 31.5%, China 27.7%, Democratic Republic of the Congo 8.6%, Indonesia 5.2%, France 4.5% (2012)
Imports$332.4 million (2012 est.)
$319.8 million (2011 est.)
Imports - commoditiesfood, textiles, petroleum products, machinery, electrical equipment, motor vehicles, chemicals, pharmaceuticals
Imports - partnersNetherlands 19.5%, Cameroon 9.7%, France 9.3%, South Korea 8.7% (2012)
Debt - external$623.9 million (31 December 2012 est.)
$573 million (31 December 2011 est.)
Exchange ratesCooperation Financiere en Afrique Centrale francs (XAF) per US dollar -
510.53 (2012 est.)
471.87 (2011 est.)
495.28 (2010)
472.19 (2009)
447.81 (2008)
Fiscal yearcalendar year

Source: CIA World Factbook
Unless otherwise noted, information in this page is accurate as of February 21, 2013