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    Comoros Economy - 1991

      Overview: One of the world's poorest countries, Comoros is made up of several islands that have poor transportation links, a young and rapidly increasing population, and few natural resources. The low educational level of the labor force contributes to a low level of economic activity, high unemployment, and a heavy dependence on foreign grants and technical assistance. Agriculture, including fishing and forestry, is the leading sector of the economy. It contributes about 40% to GDP, employs 80% of the labor force, and provides most of the exports. The country is not self-sufficient in food production, and rice, the main staple, accounts for 90% of imports. During the period 1982-86 the industrial sector grew at an annual average rate of 5.3%, but its contribution to GDP was only 5% in 1988. Despite major investment in the tourist industry, which accounts for about 25% of GDP, growth has stagnated since 1983. A sluggish growth rate of 1.5% during 1985-90 has led to large budget deficits, declining incomes, and balance-of-payments difficulties.

      GDP: $245 million, per capita $530; real growth rate 1.5% (1990 est.)

      Inflation rate (consumer prices): 2.9% (1989)

      Unemployment rate: over 16% (1988 est.)

      Budget: revenues $88 million; expenditures $92 million, including capital expenditures of $13 million (1990 est.)

      Exports: $16 million (f.o.b., 1990 est.); commodities--vanilla, cloves, perfume oil, copra; partners--US 53%, France 41%, Africa 4%, FRG 2% (1988)

      Imports: $41 million (f.o.b., 1990 est.); commodities--rice and other foodstuffs, cement, petroleum products, consumer goods; partners--Europe 62% (France 22%, other 40%), Africa 5%, Pakistan, China (1988)

      External debt: $242 million (December 1990)

      Industrial production: growth rate 3.4% (1988 est.); accounts for 5% of GDP

      Electricity: 16,000 kW capacity; 24 million kWh produced, 55 kWh per capita (1989)

      Industries: perfume distillation, textiles, furniture, jewelry, construction materials

      Agriculture: accounts for 40% of GDP; most of population works in subsistence agriculture and fishing; plantations produce cash crops for export--vanilla, cloves, perfume essences, and copra; principal food crops--coconuts, bananas, cassava; world's leading producer of essence of ylang-ylang (for perfumes) and second-largest producer of vanilla; large net food importer

      Economic aid: US commitments, including Ex-Im (FY80-89), $10 million; Western (non-US) countries, ODA and OOF bilateral commitments (1970-88), $406 million; OPEC bilateral aid (1979-89), $22 million; Communist countries (1970-89), $18 million

      Currency: Comoran franc (plural--francs); 1 Comoran franc (CF) = 100 centimes

      Exchange rates: Comoran francs (CF) per US$1--256.54 (January 1991), 272.26 (1990), 319.01 (1989), 297.85 (1988), 300.54 (1987), 346.30 (1986), 449.26 (1985); note--linked to the French franc at 50 to 1 French franc

      Fiscal year: calendar year

      NOTE: The information regarding Comoros on this page is re-published from the 1991 World Fact Book of the United States Central Intelligence Agency. No claims are made regarding the accuracy of Comoros Economy 1991 information contained here. All suggestions for corrections of any errors about Comoros Economy 1991 should be addressed to the CIA.

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    Revised 08-Feb-03
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