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Gambia, The Economy Profile 2018

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Economy - overviewThe government has invested in the agriculture sector because three-quarters of the population depends on the sector for its livelihood and agriculture provides for about one-third of GDP, making The Gambia largely reliant on sufficient rainfall. The agricultural sector has untapped potential - less than half of arable land is cultivated and agricultural productivity is low. Small-scale manufacturing activity features the processing of cashews, groundnuts, fish, and hides. The Gambia's reexport trade accounts for almost 80% of goods exports and China has been its largest trade partner for both exports and imports for several years.

The Gambia has sparse natural resource deposits. It relies heavily on remittances from workers overseas and tourist receipts. Remittance inflows to The Gambia amount to about one-fifth of the country’s GDP. The Gambia's location on the ocean and proximity to Europe has made it one of the most frequented tourist destinations in West Africa, boosted by private sector investments in eco-tourism and facilities. Tourism normally brings in about 20% of GDP, but it suffered in 2014 from tourists’ fears of Ebola virus in neighboring West African countries. Unemployment and underemployment remain high.

Economic progress depends on sustained bilateral and multilateral aid, on responsible government economic management, and on continued technical assistance from multilateral and bilateral donors. International donors and lenders were concerned about the quality of fiscal management under the administration of former President Yahya JAMMEH, who reportedly stole hundreds of millions of dollars of the country’s funds during his 22 years in power, but anticipate significant improvements under the new administration of President Adama BARROW, who assumed power in early 2017. As of April 2017, the IMF, the World Bank, the European Union, and the African Development Bank were all negotiating with the new government of The Gambia to provide financial support in the coming months to ease the country’s financial crisis.

The country faces a limited availability of foreign exchange, weak agricultural output, a border closure with Senegal, a slowdown in tourism, high inflation, a large fiscal deficit, and a high domestic debt burden that has crowded out private sector investment and driven interest rates to new highs. The government has committed to taking steps to reduce the deficit, including through expenditure caps, debt consolidation, and reform of state-owned enterprises.
GDP (purchasing power parity)$3.582 billion (2017 est.)
$3.478 billion (2016 est.)
$3.402 billion (2015 est.)
note: data are in 2017 dollars
GDP (official exchange rate)$1.038 billion (2016 est.)
GDP - real growth rate3% (2017 est.)
2.2% (2016 est.)
4.3% (2015 est.)
GDP - per capita (PPP)$1,700 (2017 est.)
$1,700 (2016 est.)
$1,700 (2015 est.)
note: data are in 2017 dollars
Gross national saving10% of GDP (2017 est.)
9.8% of GDP (2016 est.)
4.7% of GDP (2015 est.)
GDP - composition, by end usehousehold consumption: 87.2%
government consumption: 10.5%
investment in fixed capital: 20.1%
investment in inventories: -8%
exports of goods and services: 21.9%
imports of goods and services: -31.7% (2017 est.)
GDP - composition by sectoragriculture: 20.4%
industry: 14.2%
services: 65.4% (2017 est.)
Population below poverty line48.4% (2010 est.)
Labor force777,100 (2007 est.)
Labor force - by occupationagriculture: 75%
industry: 19%
services: 6% (1996)
Unemployment rateNA%
Unemployment, youth ages 15-24total: 44.3%
male: 38.1%
female: 49.5% (2012 est.)
Household income or consumption by percentage sharelowest 10%: 2%
highest 10%: 36.9% (2003)
Distribution of family income - Gini index50.2 (1998)

Budgetrevenues: $187 million
expenditures: $369.9 million (2017 est.)
Taxes and other revenues18% of GDP (2017 est.)
Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-)-17.6% of GDP (2017 est.)
Public debt116.1% of GDP (2016 est.)
110.2% of GDP (2015 est.)
Inflation rate (consumer prices)8.3% (2017 est.)
7.2% (2016 est.)
Central bank discount rate9% (31 December 2009)
11% (31 December 2008)
Commercial bank prime lending rate30.6% (31 December 2017 est.)
30.4% (31 December 2016 est.)
Stock of narrow money$225.1 million (31 December 2017 est.)
$279.6 million (31 December 2016 est.)
Stock of broad money$435.6 million (31 December 2017 est.)
$529.9 million (31 December 2016 est.)
Stock of domestic credit$408.5 million (31 December 2017 est.)
$496.7 million (31 December 2016 est.)
Market value of publicly traded shares$NA
Agriculture - productsrice, millet, sorghum, peanuts, corn, sesame, cassava (manioc, tapioca), palm kernels; cattle, sheep, goats
Industriespeanuts, fish, hides, tourism, beverages, agricultural machinery assembly, woodworking, metalworking, clothing
Industrial production growth rate3.9% (2017 est.)
Current Account Balance-$97 million (2017 est.)
-$86 million (2016 est.)
Exports$109.7 million (2017 est.)
$106.6 million (2016 est.)
Exports - commoditiespeanut products, fish, cotton lint, palm kernels
Exports - partnersMali 36.3%, Guinea 24.5%, Senegal 12.3%, China 11.7%, Guinea-Bissau 5.8% (2016)
Imports$316.1 million (2017 est.)
$326.7 million (2016 est.)
Imports - commoditiesfoodstuffs, manufactures, fuel, machinery and transport equipment
Imports - partnersCote dIvoire 13%, Brazil 12.3%, China 11%, Belgium 8.6%, India 5.7%, Spain 4.7%, Senegal 4.6% (2016)
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold$22.8 million (31 December 2017 est.)
$87.64 million (31 December 2016 est.)
Debt - externalg: $619.7 million (31 December 2017 est.)
$571.2 million (31 December 2016 est.)
Exchange ratesdalasis (GMD) per US dollar -
49.74 (2017 est.)
43.8846 (2016 est.)
43.8846 (2015 est.)
41.89 (2014 est.)
41.733 (2013 est.)
Fiscal yearcalendar year

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

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