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    Congo, Republic of the Economy - 2003

      Economy - overview: The economy is a mixture of village agriculture and handicrafts, an industrial sector based largely on oil, support services, and a government characterized by budget problems and overstaffing. Oil has supplanted forestry as the mainstay of the economy, providing a major share of government revenues and exports. In the early 1980s, rapidly rising oil revenues enabled the government to finance large-scale development projects with GDP growth averaging 5% annually, one of the highest rates in Africa. The government has mortgaged a substantial portion of its oil earnings, contributing to a shortage of revenues. The 12 January 1994 devaluation of Franc Zone currencies by 50% resulted in inflation of 61% in 1994, but inflation has subsided since. Economic reform efforts continued with the support of international organizations, notably the World Bank and the IMF. The reform program came to a halt in June 1997 when civil war erupted. Denis SASSOU-NGUESSO, who returned to power when the war ended in October 1997, publicly expressed interest in moving forward on economic reforms and privatization and in renewing cooperation with international financial institutions. However, economic progress was badly hurt by slumping oil prices and the resumption of armed conflict in December 1998, which worsened the republic's budget deficit. The current administration presides over an uneasy internal peace and faces difficult economic problems of stimulating recovery and reducing poverty.

      GDP: purchasing power parity - $2.5 billion (2002 est.)

      GDP - real growth rate: 0% (2002 est.)

      GDP - per capita: purchasing power parity - $900 (2002 est.)

      GDP - composition by sector: agriculture: 10%
      industry: 48%
      services: 42% (2001 est.)

      Population below poverty line: NA%

      Household income or consumption by percentage share: lowest 10%: NA%
      highest 10%: NA%

      Inflation rate (consumer prices): 4% (2002 est.)

      Labor force: NA

      Unemployment rate: NA%

      Budget: revenues: $870 million
      expenditures: $970 million, including capital expenditures of $NA (1997 est.)

      Industries: petroleum extraction, cement, lumber, brewing, sugar, palm oil, soap, flour, cigarettes

      Industrial production growth rate: 0% (2002 est.)

      Electricity - production: 358.1 million kWh (2001)

      Electricity - production by source: fossil fuel: 0.3%
      hydro: 99.7%
      other: 0% (2001)
      nuclear: 0%

      Electricity - consumption: 633 million kWh (2001)

      Electricity - exports: 0 kWh (2001)

      Electricity - imports: 300 million kWh (2001)

      Oil - production: 275,000 bbl/day (2001 est.)

      Oil - consumption: 5,000 bbl/day (2001 est.)

      Oil - exports: NA (2001)

      Oil - imports: NA (2001)

      Oil - proved reserves: 93.5 million bbl (January 2002 est.)

      Natural gas - proved reserves: 495.5 million cu m (January 2002 est.)

      Agriculture - products: cassava (tapioca), sugar, rice, corn, peanuts, vegetables, coffee, cocoa; forest products

      Exports: $2.4 billion f.o.b. (2002 est.)

      Exports - commodities: petroleum, lumber, plywood, sugar, cocoa, coffee, diamonds

      Exports - partners: US 17.2%, South Korea 12.7%, China 9.9%, Germany 5.6%, France 2.4% (2001)

      Imports: $730 million f.o.b. (2002 est.)

      Imports - commodities: capital equipment, construction materials, foodstuffs

      Imports - partners: France 20.5%, Italy 10.9%, US 9.5%, Belgium 5.1%, South Africa 2.5% (2001)

      Debt - external: $5 billion (2000 est.)

      Economic aid - recipient: $159.1 million (1995)

      Currency: Communaute Financiere Africaine franc (XAF); note - responsible authority is the Bank of the Central African States

      Currency code: XAF

      Exchange rates: Communaute Financiere Africaine francs (XAF) per US dollar - 697 (2002), 733.04 (2001), 711.98 (2000), 615.7 (1999), 589.95 (1998)

      Fiscal year: calendar year

      NOTE: The information regarding Congo, Republic of the on this page is re-published from the 2003 World Fact Book of the United States Central Intelligence Agency. No claims are made regarding the accuracy of Guinea Geography 2003 information contained here. All suggestions for corrections of any errors about Congo, Republic of the Economy 2003 should be addressed to the CIA.

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    Revised 20-Sep-03
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