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Comoros Economy Profile

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Economy - overview

One of the world's poorest and smallest economies, the Comoros is made up of three islands that are hampered by inadequate transportation links, a young and rapidly increasing population, and few natural resources. The low educational level of the labor force contributes to a subsistence level of economic activity and a heavy dependence on foreign grants and technical assistance. Agriculture, including fishing, hunting, and forestry, accounts for about 50% of GDP, employs a majority of the labor force, and provides most of the exports. Export income is heavily reliant on the three main crops of vanilla, cloves, and ylang ylang (perfume essence); and the Comoros' export earnings are easily disrupted by disasters such as fires and extreme weather. Despite agriculture’s importance to the economy, the country imports roughly 70% of its food; rice, the main staple, and other dried vegetables account for more than 25% of imports. Remittances from about 300,000 Comorans contribute about 25% of the country’s GDP. France, Comoros’s colonial power, remains a key trading partner and bilateral donor.

Comoros faces an education system in need of upgrades, limited opportunities for private commercial and industrial enterprises, poor health services, limited exports, and a high population growth rate. Recurring political instability, sometimes initiated from outside the country, and an ongoing electricity crisis have inhibited growth. The government, elected in mid-2016, has moved to improve revenue mobilization, reduce expenditures, and improve electricity access, although the public sector wage bill remains one of the highest in Sub-Saharan Africa. In mid-2017, Comoros joined the Southern African Development Community with 15 other regional member states.

GDP (purchasing power parity)
$1.319 billion (2017 est.)
$1.284 billion (2016 est.)
$1.257 billion (2015 est.)

note: data are in 2017 dollars

GDP (official exchange rate)
$652 million (2017 est.)
GDP - real growth rate
2.7% (2017 est.)
2.2% (2016 est.)
1% (2015 est.)
GDP - per capita (PPP)
$1,600 (2017 est.)
$1,600 (2016 est.)
$1,600 (2015 est.)

note: data are in 2017 dollars

Gross national saving
17.3% of GDP (2017 est.)
13.6% of GDP (2016 est.)
18% of GDP (2015 est.)
GDP - composition, by end use
household consumption: 92.6% (2017 est.)
government consumption: 20.4% (2017 est.)
investment in fixed capital: 20% (2017 est.)
investment in inventories: -3.1% (2017 est.)
exports of goods and services: 17.2% (2017 est.)
imports of goods and services: -47.1% (2017 est.)
GDP - composition by sector
agriculture: 47.7% (2017 est.)
industry: 11.8% (2017 est.)
services: 40.5% (2017 est.)
Population below poverty line
44.8% (2004 est.)
Labor force
278,500 (2016 est.)
Labor force - by occupation
agriculture: 80%
industry: 20% (1996 est.)
industry and services: 20% (1996 est.)
Unemployment rate
6.5% (2014 est.)
Unemployment, youth ages 15-24
total: 19.5%
male: 20%
female: 18.8% (2018)
Household income or consumption by percentage share
lowest 10%: 0.9%
highest 10%: 55.2% (2004)
Distribution of family income - Gini index
55.9 (2004 est.)
Budget
revenues: 165.2 million (2017 est.)
expenditures: 207.3 million (2017 est.)
Taxes and other revenues
25.3% (of GDP) (2017 est.)
Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-)
-6.5% (of GDP) (2017 est.)
Public debt
32.4% of GDP (2017 est.)
27.7% of GDP (2016 est.)
Inflation rate (consumer prices)
1% (2017 est.)
1.8% (2016 est.)
Central bank discount rate
1.93% (31 December 2010)
2.21% (31 December 2009)
Commercial bank prime lending rate
10.5% (31 December 2017 est.)
10.5% (31 December 2016 est.)
Stock of narrow money
$200.8 million (31 December 2017 est.)
$180.5 million (31 December 2016 est.)
Stock of broad money
$200.8 million (31 December 2017 est.)
$180.5 million (31 December 2016 est.)
Stock of domestic credit
$208.5 million (31 December 2017 est.)
$183.9 million (31 December 2016 est.)
Agriculture - products
vanilla, cloves, ylang-ylang (perfume essence), coconuts, bananas, cassava (manioc)
Industries
fishing, tourism, perfume distillation
Industrial production growth rate
1% (2017 est.)
Current Account Balance
-$27 million (2017 est.)
-$45 million (2016 est.)
Exports
$18.9 million (2017 est.)
$17.9 million (2016 est.)
Exports - commodities
vanilla, ylang-ylang (perfume essence), cloves
Exports - partners
France 36.5%, India 12.2%, Germany 8.2%, Pakistan 6.3%, Switzerland 5.8%, South Korea 4.7%, Russia 4.3% (2017)
Imports
$207.8 million (2017 est.)
$189.9 million (2016 est.)
Imports - commodities
rice and other foodstuffs, consumer goods, petroleum products, cement and construction materials, transport equipment
Imports - partners
UAE 32.8%, France 17.3%, China 13.2%, Madagascar 6.1%, Pakistan 4.5%, India 4.3% (2017)
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold
$208 million (31 December 2017 est.)
$159.5 million (31 December 2016 est.)
Debt - external
$199.8 million (31 December 2017 est.)
$132 million (31 December 2016 est.)
Exchange rates
Comoran francs (KMF) per US dollar -
458.2 (2017 est.)
444.76 (2016 est.)
444.76 (2015 est.)
443.6 (2014 est.)
370.81 (2013 est.)
Fiscal year
calendar year

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