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Gambia, The Economy Profile

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Economy - overview

The 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)
$5.556 billion (2017 est.)
$5.314 billion (2016 est.)
$5.292 billion (2015 est.)

note: data are in 2017 dollars

GDP (official exchange rate)
$1.482 billion (2017 est.)
GDP - real growth rate
4.6% (2017 est.)
0.4% (2016 est.)
5.9% (2015 est.)
GDP - per capita (PPP)
$2,600 (2017 est.)
$2,600 (2016 est.)
$2,700 (2015 est.)

note: data are in 2017 dollars

Gross national saving
6.8% of GDP (2017 est.)
7.1% of GDP (2016 est.)
3.7% of GDP (2015 est.)
GDP - composition, by end use
household consumption: 90.7% (2017 est.)
government consumption: 12% (2017 est.)
investment in fixed capital: 19.2% (2017 est.)
investment in inventories: -2.7% (2017 est.)
exports of goods and services: 20.8% (2017 est.)
imports of goods and services: -40% (2017 est.)
GDP - composition by sector
agriculture: 20.4% (2017 est.)
industry: 14.2% (2017 est.)
services: 65.4% (2017 est.)
Population below poverty line
48.4% (2010 est.)
Labor force
777,100 (2007 est.)
Labor force - by occupation
agriculture: 75%
industry: 19%
services: 6% (1996 est.)
Unemployment rate

NA

Unemployment, youth ages 15-24
total: 13.1%
male: 9.1%
female: 17.2% (2012 est.)
Household income or consumption by percentage share
lowest 10%: 2%
highest 10%: 36.9% (2003)
Distribution of family income - Gini index
50.2 (1998)
Budget
revenues: 300.4 million (2017 est.)
expenditures: 339 million (2017 est.)
Taxes and other revenues
20.3% (of GDP) (2017 est.)
Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-)
-2.6% (of GDP) (2017 est.)
Public debt
88% of GDP (2017 est.)
82.3% of GDP (2016 est.)
Inflation rate (consumer prices)
8% (2017 est.)
7.2% (2016 est.)
Central bank discount rate
9% (31 December 2009)
11% (31 December 2008)
Commercial bank prime lending rate
29% (31 December 2017 est.)
30.4% (31 December 2016 est.)
Stock of narrow money
$297.2 million (31 December 2017 est.)
$279.5 million (31 December 2016 est.)
Stock of broad money
$297.2 million (31 December 2017 est.)
$279.5 million (31 December 2016 est.)
Stock of domestic credit
$552.5 million (31 December 2017 est.)
$499 million (31 December 2016 est.)
Market value of publicly traded shares

NA

Agriculture - products
rice, millet, sorghum, peanuts, corn, sesame, cassava (manioc, tapioca), palm kernels; cattle, sheep, goats
Industries
peanuts, fish, hides, tourism, beverages, agricultural machinery assembly, woodworking, metalworking, clothing
Industrial production growth rate
-0.8% (2017 est.)
Current Account Balance
-$194 million (2017 est.)
-$85 million (2016 est.)
Exports
$72.9 million (2017 est.)
$106.6 million (2016 est.)
Exports - commodities
peanut products, fish, cotton lint, palm kernels
Exports - partners
Guinea-Bissau 51.9%, Vietnam 14.6%, Senegal 8.8%, Mali 7.2% (2017)
Imports
$376.9 million (2017 est.)
$310.5 million (2016 est.)
Imports - commodities
foodstuffs, manufactures, fuel, machinery and transport equipment
Imports - partners
Cote dIvoire 11.5%, Brazil 10.6%, Spain 10.2%, China 7.8%, Russia 6.4%, Netherlands 5.3%, India 5% (2017)
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold
$170 million (31 December 2017 est.)
$87.64 million (31 December 2016 est.)
Debt - external
$586.8 million (31 December 2017 est.)
$571.2 million (31 December 2016 est.)
Exchange rates
dalasis (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 year
calendar year

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

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