Flag of Somalia

Somalia Economy Profile 2018

Home > Factbook > Countries > Somalia

Economy - overviewDespite the lack of effective national governance, Somalia maintains an informal economy largely based on livestock, remittance/money transfer companies, and telecommunications. Somalia's government lacks the ability to collect domestic revenue and external debt – mostly in arrears – was estimated at 93% of GDP in 2014.

Agriculture is the most important sector, with livestock normally accounting for about 40% of GDP and more than 50% of export earnings. Nomads and semi-pastoralists, who are dependent upon livestock for their livelihood, make up a large portion of the population. Economic activity is estimated to have increased by 2.4% in 2017 because of growth in the agriculture, construction and telecommunications sector. Somalia's small industrial sector, based on the processing of agricultural products, has largely been looted and the machinery sold as scrap metal.

In recent years, Somalia's capital city, Mogadishu, has witnessed the development of the city's first gas stations, supermarkets, and airline flights to Turkey since the collapse of central authority in 1991. Mogadishu's main market offers a variety of goods from food to electronic gadgets. Hotels continue to operate and are supported with private-security militias. Formalized economic growth has yet to expand outside of Mogadishu and a few regional capitals, and within the city, security concerns dominate business. Telecommunication firms provide wireless services in most major cities and offer the lowest international call rates on the continent. In the absence of a formal banking sector, money transfer/remittance services have sprouted throughout the country, handling up to $1.6 billion in remittances annually, although international concerns over the money transfers into Somalia continues to threaten these services’ ability to operate in Western nations.
GDP (purchasing power parity)$17.47 billion (2017 est.)
$17.06 billion (2016 est.)
$16.53 billion (2015 est.)
note: data are in 2016 US dollars
GDP (official exchange rate)$6.522 billion (2015 est.)
GDP - real growth rate2.4% (2017 est.)
3.2% (2016 est.)
3.6% (2015 est.)
GDP - per capita (PPP)$NA (2017 est.)
$NA (2016 est.)
$NA (2015 est.)
GDP - composition, by end usehousehold consumption: 72.1%
government consumption: 8.7%
investment in fixed capital: 19.8%
investment in inventories: 0.8%
exports of goods and services: 0.3%
imports of goods and services: -1.7% (2014 est.)
GDP - composition by sectoragriculture: 60.2%
industry: 7.4%
services: 32.5% (2013 est.)
Population below poverty lineNA%
Labor force4.154 million (2016 est.)
Labor force - by occupationagriculture: 71%
industry and services: 29% (1975)
Unemployment rateNA%
Household income or consumption by percentage sharelowest 10%: NA%
highest 10%: NA%
Budgetrevenues: $145.3 million
expenditures: $151.1 million (2014 est.)
Taxes and other revenues2.2% of GDP (2014 est.)
Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-)-0.1% of GDP (2014 est.)
Inflation rate (consumer prices)1.5% (2017 est.)
-71.1% (2016 est.)
Central bank discount rateNA%
Commercial bank prime lending rateNA%
Agriculture - productsbananas, sorghum, corn, coconuts, rice, sugarcane, mangoes, sesame seeds, beans; cattle, sheep, goats; fish
Industrieslight industries, including sugar refining, textiles, wireless communication
Industrial production growth rate3.5% (2014 est.)
Current Account Balance-$722 million (2017 est.)
-$640 million (2016 est.)
Exports$819 million (2014 est.)
$779 million (2013 est.)
Exports - commoditieslivestock, bananas, hides, fish, charcoal, scrap metal
Exports - partnersSaudi Arabia 37.2%, Oman 22.7%, UAE 16.3% (2016)
Imports$3.482 billion (2014 est.)
$3.322 billion (2013 est.)
Imports - commoditiesmanufactures, petroleum products, foodstuffs, construction materials, qat
Imports - partnersIndia 26.3%, China 20.8%, Oman 9.1%, Kenya 8.3%, Turkey 6%, Malaysia 4.3%, Brazil 4.2% (2016)
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold$30.45 million (2014 est.)
Debt - external$5.3 billion (31 December 2014 est.)
$2.892 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
Stock of direct foreign investment - at home$NA
Exchange ratesSomali shillings (SOS) per US dollar -
23,960 (2016 est.)
Fiscal yearNA

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

Economy Comparison