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Botswana Economy Profile 2018

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Economy - overviewUntil the global recession, Botswana maintained one of the world's highest economic growth rates since independence in 1966. Diamond mining fueled much of the economic expansion and currently accounts for one-quarter of GDP, approximately 85% of export earnings, and about one-third of the government's revenues. Tourism is the second largest earner of foreign exchange; many Batswana also engage in subsistence farming and cattle rearing. Through fiscal discipline and sound management, Botswana transformed itself from one of the poorest countries in the world to a middle-income country with a per capita GDP of approximately $18,000 in 2017. Botswana also ranks as one of the least corrupt and best places to do business in sub-Saharan Africa.

Botswana's economy closely follows global economic trends because of its heavy reliance on a single luxury export. According to official government statistics, unemployment is around 20%, but unofficial estimates run much higher. De Beers, a major international diamond company, signed a 10-year deal with Botswana in 2012 and moved its rough stone sorting and trading division from London to Gaborone in 2013. The move was geared to support the development of Botswana's nascent downstream diamond industry.

Botswana’s economy recovered from the 2008 global recession in 2010, but has only grown modestly since then, primarily due to the downturn in the global diamond market, though water and power shortages also played a role. The prevalence of HIV/AIDS is second highest in the world and threatens the country's impressive economic gains. Diamond exports increased again in 2017 to the highest levels since 2013 at about 22 million carats of output, driving Botswana’s economic growth of about 4.5% in 2017 and increasing foreign reserves to about 45% of GDP.
GDP (purchasing power parity)$39.55 billion (2017 est.)
$37.86 billion (2016 est.)
$36.3 billion (2015 est.)
note: data are in 2017 dollars
GDP (official exchange rate)$16.73 billion (2016 est.)
GDP - real growth rate4.5% (2017 est.)
4.3% (2016 est.)
-1.7% (2015 est.)
GDP - per capita (PPP)$18,100 (2017 est.)
$17,600 (2016 est.)
$17,000 (2015 est.)
note: data are in 2017 dollars
Gross national saving29.5% of GDP (2017 est.)
42.1% of GDP (2016 est.)
40.5% of GDP (2015 est.)
GDP - composition, by end usehousehold consumption: 46.8%
government consumption: 17.7%
investment in fixed capital: 30.7%
investment in inventories: -10%
exports of goods and services: 54.1%
imports of goods and services: -39.3% (2017 est.)
GDP - composition by sectoragriculture: 1.7%
industry: 29.2%
services: 69.1% (2017 est.)
Population below poverty line30.3% (2003 est.)
Labor force1.177 million (2017 est.)
Labor force - by occupationagriculture: NA%
industry: NA%
services: NA%
Unemployment rate20% (2013 est.)
17.8% (2009 est.)
Unemployment, youth ages 15-24total: 36%
male: 29.6%
female: 43.5% (2010 est.)
Household income or consumption by percentage sharelowest 10%: NA%
highest 10%: NA%
Distribution of family income - Gini index60.5 (2009)
63 (1993)
Budgetrevenues: $5.609 billion
expenditures: $6.072 billion (2017 est.)
Taxes and other revenues33.5% of GDP (2017 est.)
Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-)-2.8% of GDP (2017 est.)
Public debt18.5% of GDP (2017 est.)
18.1% of GDP (2016 est.)
Inflation rate (consumer prices)3.7% (2017 est.)
2.8% (2016 est.)
Central bank discount rate5.5% (31 December 2016)
6% (31 December 2015)
Commercial bank prime lending rate6.5% (31 December 2017 est.)
7.3% (31 December 2016 est.)
Stock of narrow money$1.574 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
$1.505 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
Stock of broad money$6.893 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
$6.689 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
Stock of domestic credit$2.859 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
$2.597 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
Market value of publicly traded shares$4.588 billion (31 December 2012 est.)
$4.107 billion (31 December 2011 est.)
$4.076 billion (31 December 2010 est.)
Agriculture - productslivestock, sorghum, maize, millet, beans, sunflowers, groundnuts
Industriesdiamonds, copper, nickel, salt, soda ash, potash, coal, iron ore, silver; beef processing; textiles
Industrial production growth rate3% (2017 est.)
Current Account Balance$746 million (2017 est.)
$1.824 billion (2016 est.)
Exports$7.58 billion (2017 est.)
$7.226 billion (2016 est.)
Exports - commoditiesdiamonds, copper, nickel, soda ash, beef, textiles
Exports - partnersBelgium 18.9%, India 15.1%, South Africa 13.6%, Namibia 11.6%, UAE 9.7%, Israel 6.1%, Singapore 5.6%, Canada 5% (2016)
Imports$5.998 billion (2017 est.)
$5.906 billion (2016 est.)
Imports - commoditiesfoodstuffs, machinery, electrical goods, transport equipment, textiles, fuel and petroleum products, wood and paper products, metal and metal products
Imports - partnersSouth Africa 64.5%, Namibia 10.5%, Canada 5.6% (2016)
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold$7.476 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
$7.189 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
Debt - external$2.461 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
$2.421 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
Exchange ratespulas (BWP) per US dollar -
10.19 (2017 est.)
10.9022 (2016 est.)
10.9022 (2015 est.)
10.1263 (2014 est.)
8.9761 (2013 est.)
Fiscal year1 April - 31 March

Source: CIA World Factbook
This page was last updated on January 20, 2018

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