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Guinea-Bissau Economy Profile 2018

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Economy - overviewGuinea-Bissau is highly dependent on subsistence agriculture, cashew nut exports, and foreign assistance. Two out of three Bissau-Guineans remain below the absolute poverty line. The legal economy is based on cashews and fishing. Illegal logging and trafficking in narcotics also play significant roles. The combination of limited economic prospects, weak institutions, and favorable geography have made this West African country a way station for drugs bound for Europe.

Guinea-Bissau has substantial potential for development of mineral resources, including phosphates, bauxite, and mineral sands. Offshore oil and gas exploration has begun. The country’s climate and soil make it feasible to grow a wide range of cash crops, fruit, vegetables, and tubers; however, cashews generate more than 80% of export receipts and are the main source of income for many rural communities.

With renewed donor support following elections in April-May 2014 and a successful regional bond issuance, the Government of Guinea-Bissau began to make progress paying salaries, settling domestic arrears, and gaining more control over revenues and expenditures, but it was deposed by the president in August 2015. A political stalemate since then has resulted in weak governance and reduced donor support.

The country is participating in a three-year, IMF extended credit facility program that was suspended because of a planned bank bailout. The program was renewed in 2017, but the major donors of direct budget support (the EU, World Bank, and African Development Bank) have halted their programs indefinitely. Diversification of the economy remains a key policy goal, but Guinea-Bissau’s poor infrastructure and business climate will constrain this effort.
GDP (purchasing power parity)$3.071 billion (2017 est.)
$2.925 billion (2016 est.)
$2.783 billion (2015 est.)
note: data are in 2017 dollars
GDP (official exchange rate)$1.295 billion (2016 est.)
GDP - real growth rate5% (2017 est.)
5.1% (2016 est.)
5.1% (2015 est.)
GDP - per capita (PPP)$1,800 (2017 est.)
$1,800 (2016 est.)
$1,700 (2015 est.)
note: data are in 2017 dollars
Gross national saving11.2% of GDP (2017 est.)
14% of GDP (2016 est.)
11.9% of GDP (2015 est.)
GDP - composition, by end usehousehold consumption: 86.7%
government consumption: 10.8%
investment in fixed capital: 11.1%
investment in inventories: 0.1%
exports of goods and services: 28.9%
imports of goods and services: -37.7% (2017 est.)
GDP - composition by sectoragriculture: 44.1%
industry: 12.9%
services: 43% (2017 est.)
Population below poverty line67% (2015 est.)
Labor force731,300 (2013 est.)
Labor force - by occupationagriculture: 82%
industry and services: 18% (2000 est.)
Unemployment rateNA%
Household income or consumption by percentage sharelowest 10%: 2.9%
highest 10%: 28% (2002)
Budgetrevenues: $226 million
expenditures: $267 million (2017 est.)
Taxes and other revenues17.5% of GDP (2017 est.)
Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-)-3.2% of GDP (2017 est.)
Public debt46.3% of GDP (2016 est.)
46.8% of GDP (2015 est.)
Inflation rate (consumer prices)2.8% (2017 est.)
1.5% (2016 est.)
Central bank discount rate4.25% (31 December 2009)
4.75% (31 December 2008)
Commercial bank prime lending rate15% (31 December 2017 est.)
5.3% (31 December 2016 est.)
Stock of narrow money$653.4 million (31 December 2017 est.)
$525.2 million (31 December 2016 est.)
Stock of broad money$685.5 million (31 December 2017 est.)
$560 million (31 December 2016 est.)
Stock of domestic credit$275.3 million (31 December 2017 est.)
$241 million (31 December 2016 est.)
Market value of publicly traded shares$NA
Agriculture - productsrice, corn, beans, cassava (manioc, tapioca), cashew nuts, peanuts, palm kernels, cotton; timber; fish
Industriesagricultural products processing, beer, soft drinks
Industrial production growth rate1.9% (2017 est.)
Current Account Balance$1 million (2017 est.)
$11 million (2016 est.)
Exports$281.2 million (2017 est.)
$278.6 million (2016 est.)
Exports - commoditiesfish, shrimp; cashews, peanuts, palm kernels, raw and sawn lumber
Exports - partnersIndia 64.6%, Vietnam 9.4%, Belarus 9.4%, Nigeria 4.7% (2016)
Imports$241.2 million (2017 est.)
$221.8 million (2016 est.)
Imports - commoditiesfoodstuffs, machinery and transport equipment, petroleum products
Imports - partnersPortugal 44.2%, Senegal 19.2%, China 7.2%, Pakistan 6.7%, Netherlands 4.4% (2016)
Debt - external$1.095 billion (31 December 2010 est.)
$941.5 million (31 December 2000 est.)
Exchange ratesCommunaute Financiere Africaine francs (XOF) per US dollar -
605.3 (2017 est.)
593.01 (2016 est.)
593.01 (2015 est.)
591.45 (2014 est.)
494.42 (2013 est.)
Fiscal yearcalendar year

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

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