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Zaire


    • Overview:
      Zaire's economy has continued to disintegrate although Prime Minister KENGO has had some success in slowing the rate of economic decline. While meaningful economic figures are difficult to come by, Zaire's hyperinflation, chronic large government deficits, and plunging mineral production have made the country one of the world's poorest. Most formal transactions are conducted in hard currency as indigenous bank notes have lost almost all value, and a barter economy now flourishes in all but the largest cities. Most individuals and families hang on grimly through subsistence farming and petty trade. The government has not been able to meet its financial obligations to the International Monetary Fund or put in place the financial measures advocated by the IMF. Although short-term prospects for improvement are dim, improved political stability would boost Zaire's long-term potential to effectively exploit its vast wealth of mineral and agricultural resources.

    • National product:
      GDP - purchasing power parity - $18.8 billion (1994 est.)

    • National product real growth rate:
      4% (1994 est.)

    • National product per capita:
      $440 (1994 est.)

    • Inflation rate (consumer prices):
      40% per month (1993 est.)

    • Unemployment rate:
      NA%

    • Budget:

        revenues:
        $NA

        expenditures:
        $NA, including capital expenditures of $NA

    • Exports:
      $362 million (f.o.b., 1993 est.)

        commodities:
        copper, coffee, diamonds, cobalt, crude oil

        partners:
        US, Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, UK, Japan, South Africa

    • Imports:
      $356 million (f.o.b., 1993 est.)

        commodities:
        consumer goods, foodstuffs, mining and other machinery, transport equipment, fuels

        partners:
        South Africa, US, Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, UK

    • External debt:
      $9.2 billion (May 1992 est.)

    • Industrial production:
      growth rate -20% (1993); accounts for 16% of GDP

    • Electricity:

        capacity:
        2,830,000 kW

        production:
        6.2 billion kWh

        consumption per capita:
        133 kWh (1993)

    • Industries:
      mining, mineral processing, consumer products (including textiles, footwear, cigarettes, processed foods and beverages), cement, diamonds

    • Agriculture:
      cash crops - coffee, palm oil, rubber, quinine; food crops - cassava, bananas, root crops, corn

    • Illicit drugs:
      illicit producer of cannabis, mostly for domestic consumption

    • Economic aid:

        recipient:
        US commitments, including Ex-Im (FY70-89), $1.1 billion; Western (non-US) countries, ODA and OOF bilateral commitments (1970-89), $6.9 billion; OPEC bilateral aid (1979-89), $35 million; Communist countries (1970-89), $263 million

        note:
        except for humanitarian aid to private organizations, no US assistance has been given to Zaire since 1992

    • Currency:
      1 zaire (Z) = 100 makuta

    • Exchange rates:
      new zaires (Z) per US$1 - 3,275.71 (December 1994), 1,194.12 (1994), 2.51 (1993); zaire (Z) per US$1 - 645,549 (1992), 15,587 (1991), 719 (1990)

        note:
        on 22 October 1993 the new zaire, equal to 3,000,000 old zaires, was introduced

    • Fiscal year:
      calendar year






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