Chad Economy - 2021


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Economic overview

Chad’s landlocked location results in high transportation costs for imported goods and dependence on neighboring countries. Oil and agriculture are mainstays of Chad’s economy. Oil provides about 60% of export revenues, while cotton, cattle, livestock, and gum arabic provide the bulk of Chad's non-oil export earnings. The services sector contributes less than one-third of GDP and has attracted foreign investment mostly through telecommunications and banking.

Nearly all of Chad’s fuel is provided by one domestic refinery, and unanticipated shutdowns occasionally result in shortages. The country regulates the price of domestic fuel, providing an incentive for black market sales.

Although high oil prices and strong local harvests supported the economy in the past, low oil prices now stress Chad’s fiscal position and have resulted in significant government cutbacks. Chad relies on foreign assistance and foreign capital for most of its public and private sector investment. Investment in Chad is difficult due to its limited infrastructure, lack of trained workers, extensive government bureaucracy, and corruption. Chad obtained a three-year extended credit facility from the IMF in 2014 and was granted debt relief under the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries Initiative in April 2015.

In 2018, economic policy will be driven by efforts that started in 2016 to reverse the recession and to repair damage to public finances and exports. The government is implementing an emergency action plan to counterbalance the drop in oil revenue and to diversify the economy. Chad’s national development plan (NDP) cost just over $9 billion with a financing gap of $6.7 billion. The NDP emphasized the importance of private sector participation in Chad’s development, as well as the need to improve the business environment, particularly in priority sectors such as mining and agriculture.

The Government of Chad reached a deal with Glencore and four other banks on the restructuring of a $1.45 billion oil-backed loan in February 2018, after a long negotiation. The new terms include an extension of the maturity to 2030 from 2022, a two-year grace period on principal repayments, and a lower interest rate of the London Inter-bank Offer Rate (Libor) plus 2% - down from Libor plus 7.5%. The original Glencore loan was to be repaid with crude oil assets, however, Chad's oil sales were hit by the downturn in the price of oil. Chad had secured a $312 million credit from the IMF in June 2017, but release of those funds hinged on restructuring the Glencore debt. Chad had already cut public spending to try to meet the terms of the IMF program, but that prompted strikes and protests in a country where nearly 40% of the population lives below the poverty line. Multinational partners, such as the African Development Bank, the EU, and the World Bank are likely to continue budget support in 2018, but Chad will remain at high debt risk, given its dependence on oil revenue and pressure to spend on subsidies and security.

Real GDP growth rate

-3.1% (2017 est.)

-6.4% (2016 est.)

1.8% (2015 est.)

country comparison to the world: 211

Inflation rate (consumer prices)

-0.9% (2019 est.)

4.2% (2018 est.)

-1.5% (2017 est.)

country comparison to the world: 7

Real GDP (purchasing power parity)

$25.19 billion (2019 est.)

$24.397 billion (2018 est.)

$23.832 billion (2017 est.)

note: data are in 2010 dollars

country comparison to the world: 144

GDP (official exchange rate)

$10.912 billion (2019 est.)

Real GDP per capita

$1,580 (2019 est.)

$1,576 (2018 est.)

$1,587 (2017 est.)

note: data are in 2010 dollars

country comparison to the world: 221

Gross national saving

15.5% of GDP (2017 est.)

7.5% of GDP (2016 est.)

13.3% of GDP (2015 est.)

country comparison to the world: 142

GDP - composition, by sector of origin

agriculture: 52.3% (2017 est.)

industry: 14.7% (2017 est.)

services: 33.1% (2017 est.)

GDP - composition, by end use

household consumption: 75.1% (2017 est.)

government consumption: 4.4% (2017 est.)

investment in fixed capital: 24.1% (2017 est.)

investment in inventories: 0.7% (2017 est.)

exports of goods and services: 35.1% (2017 est.)

imports of goods and services: -39.4% (2017 est.)

Ease of Doing Business Index scores

Overall score: 36.9 (2020)

Starting a Business score: 52.5 (2020)

Trading score: 37 (2020)

Enforcement score: 45.5 (2020)

Agricultural products

sorghum, groundnuts, millet, yams, cereals, sugar cane, beef, maize, cotton, cassava


oil, cotton textiles, brewing, natron (sodium carbonate), soap, cigarettes, construction materials

Industrial production growth rate

-4% (2017 est.)

country comparison to the world: 192

Labor force

5.654 million (2017 est.)

country comparison to the world: 72

Labor force - by occupation

agriculture: 80%

industry: 20% (2006 est.)

Unemployment rate


Population below poverty line

42.3% (2018 est.)

Gini Index coefficient - distribution of family income

43.3 (2011 est.)

country comparison to the world: 40

Household income or consumption by percentage share

lowest 10%: 2.6%

highest 10%: 30.8% (2003)


revenues: 1.337 billion (2017 est.)

expenditures: 1.481 billion (2017 est.)

Taxes and other revenues

13.5% (of GDP) (2017 est.)

country comparison to the world: 206

Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-)

-1.5% (of GDP) (2017 est.)

country comparison to the world: 89

Public debt

52.5% of GDP (2017 est.)

52.4% of GDP (2016 est.)

country comparison to the world: 94

Fiscal year

calendar year

Current account balance

-$558 million (2017 est.)

-$926 million (2016 est.)

country comparison to the world: 124


$2.464 billion (2017 est.)

$2.187 billion (2016 est.)

country comparison to the world: 138

Exports - partners

China 32%, United Arab Emirates 21%, India 19%, United States 10%, France 6%, Germany 5% (2019)

Exports - commodities

crude petroleum, gold, livestock, sesame seeds, gum arabic, insect resins (2019)


$2.16 billion (2017 est.)

$1.997 billion (2016 est.)

country comparison to the world: 169

Imports - partners

China 29%, United Arab Emirates 16%, France 10%, United States 8%, India 5% (2019)

Imports - commodities

delivery trucks, paints, packaged medicines, aircraft, broadcasting equipment (2019)

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold

$22.9 million (31 December 2017 est.)

$20.92 million (31 December 2016 est.)

country comparison to the world: 190

Debt - external

$1.724 billion (31 December 2017 est.)

$1.281 billion (31 December 2016 est.)

country comparison to the world: 154

Exchange rates

Cooperation Financiere en Afrique Centrale francs (XAF) per US dollar -

605.3 (2017 est.)

593.01 (2016 est.)

593.01 (2015 est.)

591.45 (2014 est.)

494.42 (2013 est.)

NOTE: The information regarding Chad on this page is re-published from the 2021 World Fact Book of the United States Central Intelligence Agency and other sources. No claims are made regarding the accuracy of Chad 2021 information contained here. All suggestions for corrections of any errors about Chad 2021 should be addressed to the CIA or the source cited on each page.

This page was last modified 16 Dec 23, Copyright © 2023 ITA all rights reserved.