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    Lesotho Economy - 1990

      Overview: Small, landlocked, and mountainous, Lesotho has no important natural resources other than water. Its economy is based on agriculture, light manufacturing, and remittances from laborers employed in South Africa. Subsistence farming is the principal occupation for about 86% of the domestic labor force and accounts for about 20% of GDP. Manufacturing depends largely on farm products to support the milling, canning, leather, and jute industries; other industries include textile, clothing, and light engineering. Industry's share of total GDP rose from 6% in 1982 to 10.5% in 1987. During the period 1985-87 real GDP growth averaged 2.9% per year, only slightly above the population growth rate. In FY89 per capita GDP was only $245 and nearly 25% of the labor force was unemployed.

      GDP: $412 million, per capita $245; real growth rate 8.2% (FY89 est.)

      Inflation rate (consumer prices): 15.0% (FY89 est.)

      Unemployment rate: 23% (1988)

      Budget: revenues $159 million; expenditures $224 million, including capital expenditures of $68 million (FY89 est.)

      Exports: $55 million (f.o.b., FY89 est.); commodities--wool, mohair, wheat, cattle, peas, beans, corn, hides, skins, baskets; partners--South Africa 87%, EC 10%, (1985)

      Imports: $526 million (f.o.b., FY89 est.); commodities--mainly corn, building materials, clothing, vehicles, machinery, medicines, petroleum, oil, and lubricants; partners--South Africa 95%, EC 2% (1985)

      External debt: $235 million (December 1988)

      Industrial production: growth rate 10.3% (1988 est.)

      Electricity: power supplied by South Africa

      Industries: tourism

      Agriculture: exceedingly primitive, mostly subsistence farming and livestock; principal crops are corn, wheat, pulses, sorghum, barley

      Aid: US commitments, including Ex-Im (FY70-88), $252 million; Western (non-US) countries, ODA and OOF bilateral commitments (1970-87), $714 million; OPEC bilateral aid (1979-89), $4 million; Communist countries (1970-88), $14 million

      Currency: loti (plural--maloti); 1 loti (L) = 100 lisente

      Exchange rates: maloti (M) per US$1--2.5555 (January 1990), 2.6166 (1989), 2.2611 (1988), 2.0350 (1987), 2.2685 (1986), 2.1911 (1985); note--the Basotho loti is at par with the South African rand

      Fiscal year: 1 April-31 March

      NOTE: The information regarding Lesotho on this page is re-published from the 1990 World Fact Book of the United States Central Intelligence Agency. No claims are made regarding the accuracy of Lesotho Economy 1990 information contained here. All suggestions for corrections of any errors about Lesotho Economy 1990 should be addressed to the CIA.

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    Revised 07-Feb-03
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