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Reunion Economy 1996

    • Overview:
      The economy has traditionally been based on agriculture. Sugarcane has been the primary crop for more than a century, and in some years it accounts for 85% of exports. The government has been pushing the development of a tourist industry to relieve high unemployment, which recently amounted to one-third of the labor force. The gap in Reunion between the well-off and the poor is extraordinary and accounts for the persistent social tensions. The white and Indian communities are substantially better off than other segments of the population, often approaching European standards, whereas indigenous groups suffer the poverty and unemployment typical of the poorer nations of the African continent. The outbreak of severe rioting in February 1991 illustrates the seriousness of socioeconomic tensions. The economic well-being of Reunion depends heavily on continued financial assistance from France.

    • National product:
      GDP - purchasing power parity - $2.5 billion (1993 est.)

    • National product real growth rate:

    • National product per capita:
      $3,900 (1993 est.)

    • Inflation rate (consumer prices):

    • Unemployment rate:
      35% (February 1991)

    • Budget:

        $358 million

        $914 million, including capital expenditures of $NA (1986 est.)

    • Exports:
      $166 million (f.o.b., 1988)

        sugar 75%, rum and molasses 4%, perfume essences 4%, lobster 3%, vanilla and tea 1%

        France, Mauritius, Bahrain, South Africa, Italy

    • Imports:
      $1.7 billion (c.i.f., 1988)

        manufactured goods, food, beverages, tobacco, machinery and transportation equipment, raw materials, and petroleum products

        France, Mauritius, Bahrain, South Africa, Italy

    • External debt:

    • Industrial production:
      growth rate NA%; about 25% of GDP

    • Electricity:

        180,000 kW

        1 billion kWh

        consumption per capita:
        1,454 kWh (1993)

    • Industries:
      sugar, rum, cigarettes, several small shops producing handicraft items

    • Agriculture:
      accounts for 30% of labor force; dominant sector of economy; cash crops - sugarcane, vanilla, tobacco; food crops - tropical fruits, vegetables, corn; imports large share of food needs

    • Economic aid:

        Western (non-US) countries, ODA and OOF bilateral commitments (1970-89), $14.8 billion

    • Currency:
      1 French franc (F) = 100 centimes

    • Exchange rates:
      French francs (F) per US$1 - 5.2943 (January 1995), 5.5520 (1994), 5.6632 (1993), 5.2938 (1992), 5.6421 (1991), 5.4453 (1990)

    • Fiscal year:
      calendar year

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