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Swaziland Economy Profile 2017

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Economy - overviewA small, landlocked kingdom, Swaziland is bordered in the north, west and south by the Republic of South Africa and by Mozambique in the east. Swaziland depends on South Africa for 60% of its exports and for more than 90% of its imports. Swaziland's currency is pegged to the South African rand, effectively relinquishing Swaziland's monetary policy to South Africa. The government is dependent on customs duties from the Southern African Customs Union (SACU) for 49% of revenue; income tax accounts for 27% and a valued added tax for 19% of revenues. Swaziland is a lower middle income country, but its income distribution is highly skewed, with an estimated 20% of the population controlling 80% of the nation’s wealth. As of 2017, more than one-quarter of the adult population was infected by HIV/AIDS; Swaziland has the world’s highest HIV prevalence rate.

Subsistence agriculture employs approximately 70% of the population. The manufacturing sector diversified in the 1980s and 1990s, but manufacturing has grown little in the last decade. Sugar and soft drink concentrate are the largest foreign exchange earners. Mining has declined in importance in recent years. Coal, gold, diamond, and quarry stone mines are small scale, and the only iron ore mine closed in 2014.

With an estimated 28% unemployment rate, Swaziland's need to increase the number and size of small and medium enterprises and to attract foreign direct investment is acute. On 1 January 2015, Swaziland lost its eligibility for benefits under the US African Growth and Opportunity Act after failing to meet benchmarks relating to workers’ rights.

The IMF forecasted that Swaziland’s economy will grow at a slower pace in 2017 because of a region-wide drought, which is likely to hurt Swaziland’s revenue from sugar exports and other agricultural products; tourism and transport sectors will also decline. Overgrazing, soil depletion, drought, and floods are persistent problems. Swaziland’s revenue from SACU receipts also are projected to decline in 2017, making it harder for the government to maintain fiscal balance.
GDP (purchasing power parity)$10.94 billion (2016 est.)
$11.01 billion (2015 est.)
$10.81 billion (2014 est.)
note: data are in 2016 dollars
GDP (official exchange rate)$4.218 billion (2016 est.)
GDP - real growth rate-0.6% (2016 est.)
1.9% (2015 est.)
2.8% (2014 est.)
GDP - per capita (PPP)$9,800 (2016 est.)
$9,800 (2015 est.)
$9,800 (2014 est.)
note: data are in 2016 dollars
Gross national saving4.5% of GDP (2016 est.)
18.1% of GDP (2015 est.)
12.4% of GDP (2014 est.)
GDP - composition, by end usehousehold consumption: 74.7%
government consumption: 21.4%
investment in fixed capital: 14.6%
investment in inventories: -0.1%
exports of goods and services: 34.5%
imports of goods and services: -45.2% (2015 est.)
GDP - composition by sectoragriculture: 6.6%
industry: 39.7%
services: 53.7% (2016 est.)
Population below poverty line63% (2010 est.)
Labor force295,200 (2013 est.)
Labor force - by occupationagriculture: 10.7%
industry: NA%
services: NA%
Unemployment rate28% (2014 est.)
28% (2013 est.)
Household income or consumption by percentage sharelowest 10%: 1.7%
highest 10%: 40.1% (2010 est.)
Distribution of family income - Gini index50.4 (2001)
Budgetrevenues: $1.299 billion
expenditures: $1.672 billion (2017 est.)
Taxes and other revenues30.8% of GDP (2017 est.)
Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-)-8.8% of GDP (2017 est.)
Public debt8.7% of GDP (2017 est.)
9% of GDP (2017 est.)
Inflation rate (consumer prices)8.5% (2016 est.)
7.9% (2015 est.)
Central bank discount rate7.25% (31 December 2016)
6.5% (31 December 2015)
Commercial bank prime lending rate10.5% (31 December 2016 est.)
9.25% (31 December 2015 est.)
Stock of narrow money$440.6 million (31 December 2016 est.)
$365 million (31 December 2015 est.)
Stock of broad money$1.285 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$1.017 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
Stock of domestic credit$1.003 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$878.5 million (31 December 2015 est.)
Market value of publicly traded shares$NA
$203.1 million (31 December 2007)
$199.9 million (31 December 2006)
Agriculture - productssugarcane, corn, cotton, citrus, pineapples, cattle, goats
Industriessoft drink concentrates, coal, forestry, sugar, textiles, and apparel
Industrial production growth rate-0.6% (2016 est.)
Current Account Balance-$195 million (2016 est.)
$425 million (2015 est.)
Exports$1.276 billion (2016 est.)
$1.698 billion (2015 est.)
Exports - commoditiessoft drink concentrates, sugar, timber, cotton yarn, refrigerators, citrus, and canned fruit
Imports$1.178 billion (2016 est.)
$11.36 billion (2015 est.)
Imports - commoditiesmotor vehicles, machinery, transport equipment, foodstuffs, petroleum products, chemicals
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold$696.3 million (31 December 2016 est.)
$698.9 million (31 December 2015 est.)
Debt - external$366 million (31 December 2016 est.)
$339.1 million (31 December 2015 est.)
Stock of direct foreign investment - at home$NA
Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad$NA
Exchange ratesemalangeni per US dollar -
16.15 (2016 est.)
12.7581 (2015 est.)
12.7581 (2014 est.)
10.8469 (2013 est.)
8.2 (2012 est.)
Fiscal year1 April - 31 March

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

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