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Gabon


    • Overview:
      Notwithstanding its serious ongoing economic problems, Gabon enjoys a per capita income more than twice that of most nations of sub-Saharan Africa. Gabon depended on timber and manganese until oil was discovered offshore in the early 1970s. The oil sector now accounts for 50% of GDP. Real growth was feeble in 1992 and Gabon continues to face the problem of fluctuating prices for its oil, timber, manganese, and uranium exports. Despite an abundance of natural wealth, and a manageable rate of population growth, the economy is hobbled by poor fiscal management. In 1992, the fiscal deficit widened to 2.4% of GDP, and Gabon failed to settle arrears on its bilateral debt, leading to a cancellation of rescheduling agreements with official and private creditors. Devaluation of its Francophone currency by 50% in January 1994 did not set off an expected inflationary spiral but the government must continue to keep a tight reign on spending and wage increases.

    • National product:
      GDP - purchasing power parity - $5.6 billion (1994 est.)

    • National product real growth rate:
      1.9% (1994 est.)

    • National product per capita:
      $4,900 (1994 est.)

    • Inflation rate (consumer prices):
      35% (1994 est.)

    • Unemployment rate:
      NA%

    • Budget:

        revenues:
        $1.3 billion

        expenditures:
        $1.6 billion, including capital expenditures of $311 million (1993 est.)

    • Exports:
      $2.1 billion (f.o.b., 1993 est)

        commodities:
        crude oil 80%, timber 10%, manganese 6%, uranium 2%

        partners:
        US 38%, France 26%, Japan, Germany

    • Imports:
      $832 million (c.i.f., 1993 est.)

        commodities:
        foodstuffs, chemical products, petroleum products, construction materials, manufactures, machinery

        partners:
        France 42%, African countries 23%, US, Japan

    • External debt:
      $3.3 billion (1993 est.)

    • Industrial production:
      growth rate -3% (1991)

    • Electricity:

        capacity:
        315,000 kW

        production:
        910 million kWh

        consumption per capita:
        757 kWh (1993)

    • Industries:
      food and beverages, lumbering and plywood, textiles, cement, petroleum refining, mining - manganese, uranium, gold, petroleum

    • Agriculture:
      cash crops - cocoa, coffee, palm oil; livestock raising not developed; importer of food; small fishing operations provide a catch of about 20,000 metric tons; okoume (a tropical softwood) is the most important timber product

    • Economic aid:

        recipient:
        US commitments, including Ex-Im (FY70-90), $68 million; Western (non-US) countries, ODA and OOF bilateral commitments (1970-90), $2.342 billion; Communist countries (1970-89), $27 million

    • Currency:
      1 CFA franc (CFAF) = 100 centimes

    • Exchange rates:
      Communaute Financiere Africaine francs (CFAF) per US$1 - 529.43 (January 1995), 555.20 (1994), 283.16 (1993), 264.69 (1992), 282.11 (1991), 272.26 (1990)

        note:
        beginning 12 January 1994, the CFA franc was devalued to CFAF 100 per French franc from CFAF 50 at which it had been fixed since 1948

    • Fiscal year:
      calendar year






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