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Mauritania Economy Profile 2017

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Economy - overviewMauritania's economy is dominated by extractive industries (oil and mines), fisheries and agriculture. Half the population still depends on farming and raising livestock, even though many nomads and subsistence farmers were forced into the cities by recurrent droughts in the 1970s, 1980s and 2000s. Recently, GDP growth has been driven largely by foreign investment in the mining and oil sectors.

Mauritania's extensive mineral resources include iron ore, gold, copper, gypsum, and phosphate rock, and exploration is ongoing for Tantalum, uranium, crude oil, and natural gas. Extractive commodities make up about three-quarters of Mauritania's total exports, subjecting the economy to price swings in world commodity markets. Mining is also a growing source of government revenue, rising from 13% to 30% of total revenue from 2006 to 2016. The nation's coastal waters are among the richest fishing areas in the world, and fishing accounts for about 20% of budget revenues, 45% of foreign currency earnings. Mauritania processes a total of 1,800,000 tons of fish per year, but overexploitation by foreign and national fleets threaten the sustainability of this key source of revenue.

The economy is highly sensitive to international food price and extractive commodity prices. Other risks to Mauritania's economy include its recurring droughts, dependence on foreign aid and investment, and insecurity in neighboring Mali, as well as significant shortages of infrastructure, institutional capacity, and human capital. Mauritania has sought additional IMF support by focusing efforts on poverty reduction. Investment in agriculture and infrastructure are the largest components of the country’s public expenditures.
GDP (purchasing power parity)$16.71 billion (2016 est.)
$16.19 billion (2015 est.)
$15.99 billion (2014 est.)
note: data are in 2016 dollars
GDP (official exchange rate)$4.718 billion (2016 est.)
GDP - real growth rate3.2% (2016 est.)
1.2% (2015 est.)
5.4% (2014 est.)
GDP - per capita (PPP)$4,400 (2016 est.)
$4,400 (2015 est.)
$4,400 (2014 est.)
note: data are in 2016 dollars
Gross national saving22.2% of GDP (2016 est.)
18.8% of GDP (2015 est.)
25.2% of GDP (2014 est.)
GDP - composition, by end usehousehold consumption: 72.5%
government consumption: 23.8%
investment in fixed capital: 47%
investment in inventories: -7.2%
exports of goods and services: 25.7%
imports of goods and services: -61.8% (2016 est.)
GDP - composition by sectoragriculture: 24.1%
industry: 34.8%
services: 41.1% (2016 est.)
Population below poverty line31% (2014 est.)
Labor force1.356 million (2016 est.)
Labor force - by occupationagriculture: 50%
industry: 1.9%
services: 48.1% (2014 est.)
Unemployment rate12.8% (2016 est.)
31% (2014 est.)
Household income or consumption by percentage sharelowest 10%: 2.5%
highest 10%: 29.5% (2000)
Distribution of family income - Gini index37 (2014)
39 (2006 est.)
Budgetrevenues: $1.143 billion
expenditures: $1.43 billion (2016 est.)
Taxes and other revenues24.2% of GDP (2016 est.)
Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-)-6.1% of GDP (2016 est.)
Inflation rate (consumer prices)3.5% (2016 est.)
0.5% (2015 est.)
Central bank discount rate9% (31 December 2009)
12% (31 December 2007)
Commercial bank prime lending rate17% (31 December 2016 est.)
17% (31 December 2015 est.)
Stock of domestic credit$1.753 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$1.8 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
Market value of publicly traded shares$NA
Agriculture - productsdates, millet, sorghum, rice, corn; cattle, camel and sheep
Industriesfish processing, oil production, mining (iron ore, gold, copper)
note: gypsum deposits have never been exploited
Industrial production growth rate-1.2% (2016 est.)
Current Account Balance-$765 million (2016 est.)
-$956 million (2015 est.)
Exports$1.212 billion (2016 est.)
$1.385 billion (2015 est.)
Exports - commoditiesiron ore, fish and fish products, livestock, gold, copper, crude oil
Exports - partnersChina 32.7%, Switzerland 11.1%, Spain 8.6%, Italy 6.7%, Cote dIvoire 6.6%, Japan 5.7% (2015)
Imports$1.643 billion (2016 est.)
$1.93 billion (2015 est.)
Imports - commoditiesmachinery and equipment, petroleum products, capital goods, foodstuffs, consumer goods
Imports - partnersChina 27.8%, France 6.9%, Morocco 5.6%, Spain 5.2%, Brazil 4.9%, US 4.4% (2015)
Debt - external$3.585 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$3.415 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
Exchange ratesouguiyas (MRO) per US dollar -
341.6 (2016 est.)
319.7 (2015 est.)
319.7 (2014 est.)
299.5 (2013 est.)
296.6 (2012 est.)
Fiscal yearcalendar year

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

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