Flag of Burundi

Burundi Economy Profile 2018

Home > Factbook > Countries > Burundi

Economy - overviewBurundi 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 60% of foreign exchange earnings. Thus, Burundi's export earnings - and its ability to pay for imports - rest primarily on favorable weather conditions and international coffee and tea prices, although exports are a relatively small share of GDP. Burundi is heavily dependent on aid from bilateral and multilateral donors. Foreign aid represented 48% of Burundi's national income in 2015, one of the highest percentages in Sub-Saharan Africa, but decreased to 33.5% in 2016. Burundi joined the East African Community (EAC) in 2009.

The 1993-2005 civil war resulted in more than 200,000 deaths, forced more than 48,000 refugees into Tanzania, and displaced 140,000 others internally. Political stability, aid flows, and economic activity improved following the war’s end, but underlying weaknesses – low governmental capacity, a high poverty rate, poor educational levels, a weak legal system, a poor transportation network, and overburdened utilities – have prevented the implementation of planned economic reforms. Government corruption has also hindered the development of a private sector. The purchasing power of most Burundians has decreased as wage increases have not kept pace with inflation.

In 2015, Burundi’s economy suffered from political turmoil, including street protests and an attempted coup, following President NKURUNZIZA’s controversial announcement that he would run for a third term. Insecurity and refugee flows to neighboring countries slowed down economic activity and donors withdrew aid, increasing Burundi’s budget deficit and decreasing hard currency reserves. Real GDP growth dropped precipitously and has yet to recover to pre-conflict levels.
GDP (purchasing power parity)$7.985 billion (2017 est.)
$7.985 billion (2016 est.)
$8.069 billion (2015 est.)
note: data are in 2017 dollars
GDP (official exchange rate)$3.393 billion (2016 est.)
GDP - real growth rate0% (2017 est.)
-1% (2016 est.)
-4% (2015 est.)
GDP - per capita (PPP)$800 (2017 est.)
$800 (2016 est.)
$900 (2015 est.)
note: data are in 2017 dollars
Gross national saving-5.4% of GDP (2017 est.)
-4.1% of GDP (2016 est.)
-6.7% of GDP (2015 est.)
GDP - composition, by end usehousehold consumption: 80.5%
government consumption: 21.3%
investment in fixed capital: 15.6%
investment in inventories: 0%
exports of goods and services: 5.5%
imports of goods and services: -22.9% (2017 est.)
GDP - composition by sectoragriculture: 40%
industry: 16%
services: 44.1% (2017 est.)
Population below poverty line64.6% (2014 est.)
Labor force5.012 million (2017 est.)
Labor force - by occupationagriculture: 93.6%
industry: 2.3%
services: 4.1% (2002 est.)
Unemployment rateNA%
Household income or consumption by percentage sharelowest 10%: 4.1%
highest 10%: 28% (2006)
Distribution of family income - Gini index42.4 (1998)
Budgetrevenues: $607.6 million
expenditures: $748.9 million (2017 est.)
Taxes and other revenues17.9% of GDP (2017 est.)
Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-)-4.2% of GDP (2017 est.)
Public debt40.9% of GDP (2017 est.)
43.4% of GDP (2016 est.)
Inflation rate (consumer prices)18% (2017 est.)
5.5% (2016 est.)
Central bank discount rate11.25% (31 December 2010)
10% (31 December 2009)
Commercial bank prime lending rate15.9% (31 December 2017 est.)
14.24% (31 December 2016 est.)
Stock of narrow money$498.1 million (31 December 2017 est.)
$456.3 million (31 December 2016 est.)
Stock of broad money$663.4 million (31 December 2017 est.)
$612.8 million (31 December 2016 est.)
Stock of domestic credit$1.05 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
$955.1 million (31 December 2016 est.)
Market value of publicly traded shares$NA
Agriculture - productscoffee, cotton, tea, corn, beans, sorghum, sweet potatoes, bananas, cassava (manioc, tapioca); beef, milk, hides
Industrieslight consumer goods (sugar, shoes, soap, beer); cement, assembly of imported components; public works construction; food processing (fruits)
Industrial production growth rate-5% (2017 est.)
Current Account Balance-$422 million (2017 est.)
-$411 million (2016 est.)
Exports$100.3 million (2017 est.)
$109.7 million (2016 est.)
Exports - commoditiescoffee, tea, sugar, cotton, hides
Exports - partnersDemocratic Republic of the Congo 30.6%, UAE 15.7%, Kenya 14.5%, Rwanda 7.2% (2016)
Imports$442.1 million (2017 est.)
$509.4 million (2016 est.)
Imports - commoditiescapital goods, petroleum products, foodstuffs
Imports - partnersChina 13.3%, India 13%, Tanzania 8.6%, Saudi Arabia 7.9%, Kenya 7.5%, UAE 5.2%, Uganda 5% (2016)
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold$79.3 million (31 December 2017 est.)
$95.17 million (31 December 2016 est.)
Debt - external$619.8 million (31 December 2017 est.)
$622.4 million (31 December 2016 est.)
Exchange ratesBurundi 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 yearcalendar year

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

Economy Comparison