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    Gabon Economy - 2003

      Economy - overview: Gabon enjoys a per capita income four times that of most nations of sub-Saharan Africa. This has supported a sharp decline in extreme poverty; yet because of high income inequality a large proportion of the population remains poor. Gabon depended on timber and manganese until oil was discovered offshore in the early 1970s. The oil sector now accounts for 50% of GDP. Gabon continues to face fluctuating prices for its oil, timber, and manganese exports. Despite the abundance of natural wealth, poor fiscal management hobbles the economy. Devaluation of its Francophone currency by 50% on 12 January 1994 sparked a one-time inflationary surge, to 35%; the rate dropped to 6% in 1996. The IMF provided a one-year standby arrangement in 1994-95, a three-year Enhanced Financing Facility (EFF) at near commercial rates beginning in late 1995, and stand-by credit of $119 million in October 2000. Those agreements mandate progress in privatization and fiscal discipline. France provided additional financial support in January 1997 after Gabon had met IMF targets for mid-1996. In 1997, an IMF mission to Gabon criticized the government for overspending on off-budget items, overborrowing from the central bank, and slipping on its schedule for privatization and administrative reform. The rebound of oil prices in 1999-2000 helped growth, but drops in production hampered Gabon from fully realizing potential gains. In December 2000, Gabon signed a new agreement with the Paris Club to reschedule its official debt. A follow-up bilateral repayment agreement with the US was signed in December 2001. Short-term progress depends on an upbeat world economy and fiscal and other adjustments in line with IMF policies.

      GDP: purchasing power parity - $7 billion (2002 est.)

      GDP - real growth rate: 2.9% (2002 est.)

      GDP - per capita: purchasing power parity - $5,700 (2002 est.)

      GDP - composition by sector: agriculture: 15%
      industry: 60%
      services: 25% (2001 est.)

      Population below poverty line: NA%

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

      Inflation rate (consumer prices): 2.3% (2002 est.)

      Labor force: 600,000

      Labor force - by occupation: agriculture 60%, services 25%, industry 15%

      Unemployment rate: 21% (1997 est.)

      Budget: revenues: $1.8 billion
      expenditures: $1.8 billion, including capital expenditures of $310 million (2002 est.)

      Industries: petroleum extraction and refining; manganese, and gold mining; chemicals; ship repair; food and beverage; textile; lumbering and plywood; cement.

      Industrial production growth rate: 1.6% (2002 est.)

      Electricity - production: 798.4 million kWh (2001)

      Electricity - production by source: fossil fuel: 34.5%
      hydro: 65.5%
      other: 0% (2001)
      nuclear: 0%

      Electricity - consumption: 742.5 million kWh (2001)

      Electricity - exports: 0 kWh (2001)

      Electricity - imports: 0 kWh (2001)

      Oil - production: 301,300 bbl/day (2001 est.)

      Oil - consumption: 13,000 bbl/day (2001 est.)

      Oil - exports: NA (2001)

      Oil - imports: NA (2001)

      Oil - proved reserves: 2.45 billion bbl (January 2002 est.)

      Natural gas - proved reserves: 66.47 billion cu m (January 2002 est.)

      Agriculture - products: cocoa, coffee, sugar, palm oil, rubber; cattle; okoume (a tropical softwood); fish

      Exports: $2.6 billion f.o.b. (2002 est.)

      Exports - commodities: crude oil 77%, timber, manganese, uranium (2001)

      Exports - partners: US 50.2%, France 17.1%, China 7.7%, Netherlands Antilles 4.3% (2000)

      Imports: $1.1 billion f.o.b. (2002 est.)

      Imports - commodities: machinery and equipment, foodstuffs, chemicals, construction materials

      Imports - partners: France 64.8%, US 5.1%, Belgium 4.2%, Netherlands 2.5% (2000)

      Debt - external: $3.8 billion (2002 est.)

      Economic aid - recipient: $331 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 - 696.988 (2002), 733.039 (2001), 711.976 (2000), 615.699 (1999), 589.952 (1998)

      Fiscal year: calendar year

      NOTE: The information regarding Gabon 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 Gabon Economy 2003 should be addressed to the CIA.

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    Revised 20-Sep-03
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