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Burundi Economy Profile

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Economy - overview

Burundi is a landlocked, resource-poor country with an underdeveloped manufacturing sector. Agriculture accounts for over 40% of GDP and employs more than 90% of the population. Burundi's primary exports are coffee and tea, which account for more than half of foreign exchange earnings, but these earnings are subject to fluctuations in weather and international coffee and tea prices, Burundi is heavily dependent on aid from bilateral and multilateral donors, as well as foreign exchange earnings from participation in the African Union Mission to Somalia (AMISOM). Foreign aid represented 48% of Burundi's national income in 2015, one of the highest percentages in Sub-Saharan Africa, but this figure decreased to 33.5% in 2016 due to political turmoil surrounding President NKURUNZIZA’s bid for a third term. Burundi joined the East African Community (EAC) in 2009.

Burundi faces several underlying weaknesses – low governmental capacity, corruption, a high poverty rate, poor educational levels, a weak legal system, a poor transportation network, and overburdened utilities – that have prevented the implementation of planned economic reforms. The purchasing power of most Burundians has decreased as wage increases have not kept pace with inflation, which reached approximately 18% in 2017.

Real GDP growth dropped precipitously following political events in 2015 and has yet to recover to pre-conflict levels. Continued resistance by donors and the international community will restrict Burundi’s economic growth as the country deals with a large current account deficit.

GDP (purchasing power parity)
$8.007 billion (2017 est.)
$8.007 billion (2016 est.)
$8.091 billion (2015 est.)

note: data are in 2017 dollars

GDP (official exchange rate)
$3.396 billion (2017 est.)
GDP - real growth rate
0% (2017 est.)
-1% (2016 est.)
-4% (2015 est.)
GDP - per capita (PPP)
$700 (2017 est.)
$800 (2016 est.)
$800 (2015 est.)

note: data are in 2017 dollars

Gross national saving
-5.3% of GDP (2017 est.)
-4.1% of GDP (2016 est.)
-6.7% of GDP (2015 est.)
GDP - composition, by end use
household consumption: 83% (2017 est.)
government consumption: 20.8% (2017 est.)
investment in fixed capital: 16% (2017 est.)
investment in inventories: 0% (2017 est.)
exports of goods and services: 5.5% (2017 est.)
imports of goods and services: -25.3% (2017 est.)
GDP - composition by sector
agriculture: 39.5% (2017 est.)
industry: 16.4% (2017 est.)
services: 44.2% (2017 est.)
Population below poverty line
64.6% (2014 est.)
Labor force
5.012 million (2017 est.)
Labor force - by occupation
agriculture: 93.6%
industry: 2.3%
services: 4.1% (2002 est.)
Unemployment rate

NA

Unemployment, youth ages 15-24
total: 2.9%
male: 4.4%
female: 2% (2014 est.)
Household income or consumption by percentage share
lowest 10%: 4.1%
highest 10%: 28% (2006)
Distribution of family income - Gini index
42.4 (1998)
Budget
revenues: 536.7 million (2017 est.)
expenditures: 729.6 million (2017 est.)
Taxes and other revenues
15.8% (of GDP) (2017 est.)
Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-)
-5.7% (of GDP) (2017 est.)
Public debt
51.7% of GDP (2017 est.)
48.4% of GDP (2016 est.)
Inflation rate (consumer prices)
16.6% (2017 est.)
5.5% (2016 est.)
Central bank discount rate
11.25% (31 December 2010)
10% (31 December 2009)
Commercial bank prime lending rate
14.8% (31 December 2017 est.)
14.24% (31 December 2016 est.)
Stock of narrow money
$540 million (31 December 2017 est.)
$476.7 million (31 December 2016 est.)
Stock of broad money
$540 million (31 December 2017 est.)
$476.7 million (31 December 2016 est.)
Stock of domestic credit
$1.116 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
$1.03 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
Market value of publicly traded shares

NA

Agriculture - products
coffee, cotton, tea, corn, beans, sorghum, sweet potatoes, bananas, cassava (manioc, tapioca); beef, milk, hides
Industries
light consumer goods (sugar, shoes, soap, beer); cement, assembly of imported components; public works construction; food processing (fruits)
Industrial production growth rate
-2% (2017 est.)
Current Account Balance
-$418 million (2017 est.)
-$411 million (2016 est.)
Exports
$119 million (2017 est.)
$109.7 million (2016 est.)
Exports - commodities
coffee, tea, sugar, cotton, hides
Exports - partners
Democratic Republic of the Congo 25.5%, Switzerland 18.4%, UAE 14.9%, Belgium 6% (2017)
Imports
$603.8 million (2017 est.)
$527.2 million (2016 est.)
Imports - commodities
capital goods, petroleum products, foodstuffs
Imports - partners
India 18.5%, China 13%, Kenya 7.9%, UAE 6.8%, Saudi Arabia 6.8%, Uganda 6%, Tanzania 5.4%, Zambia 4.6% (2017)
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold
$97.4 million (31 December 2017 est.)
$95.17 million (31 December 2016 est.)
Debt - external
$610.9 million (31 December 2017 est.)
$622.4 million (31 December 2016 est.)
Exchange rates
Burundi francs (BIF) per US dollar -
1,731 (2017 est.)
1,654.63 (2016 est.)
1,654.63 (2015 est.)
1,571.9 (2014 est.)
1,546.7 (2013 est.)
Fiscal year
calendar year

Source: CIA World Factbook
This page was last updated on Friday, November 27, 2020

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