Mauritania Economy - 2021


SOURCE: 2021 CIA WORLD FACTBOOK

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Economic overview

Mauritania's economy is dominated by extractive industries (oil and mines), fisheries, livestock, agriculture, and services. Half the population still depends on farming and raising livestock, even though many nomads and subsistence farmers were forced into the cities by recurrent droughts in the 1970s, 1980s, 2000s, and 2017. Recently, GDP growth has been driven largely by foreign investment in the mining and oil sectors.

Mauritania's extensive mineral resources include iron ore, gold, copper, gypsum, and phosphate rock, and exploration is ongoing for tantalum, uranium, crude oil, and natural gas. Extractive commodities make up about three-quarters of Mauritania's total exports, subjecting the economy to price swings in world commodity markets. Mining is also a growing source of government revenue, rising from 13% to 30% of total revenue from 2006 to 2014. The nation's coastal waters are among the richest fishing areas in the world, and fishing accounts for about 15% of budget revenues, 45% of foreign currency earnings. Mauritania processes a total of 1,800,000 tons of fish per year, but overexploitation by foreign and national fleets threaten the sustainability of this key source of revenue.

The economy is highly sensitive to international food and extractive commodity prices. Other risks to Mauritania's economy include its recurring droughts, dependence on foreign aid and investment, and insecurity in neighboring Mali, as well as significant shortages of infrastructure, institutional capacity, and human capital. In December 2017, Mauritania and the IMF agreed to a three year agreement under the Extended Credit Facility to foster economic growth, maintain macroeconomic stability, and reduce poverty. Investment in agriculture and infrastructure are the largest components of the country’s public expenditures.

Real GDP growth rate

3.5% (2017 est.)

1.8% (2016 est.)

0.4% (2015 est.)

country comparison to the world: 85

Inflation rate (consumer prices)

2.2% (2019 est.)

3.1% (2018 est.)

2.2% (2017 est.)

country comparison to the world: 120

Real GDP (purchasing power parity)

$23.52 billion (2019 est.)

$22.203 billion (2018 est.)

$21.743 billion (2017 est.)

note: data are in 2017 dollars

country comparison to the world: 147

GDP (official exchange rate)

$706 million (2018 est.)

Real GDP per capita

$5,197 (2019 est.)

$5,042 (2018 est.)

$5,077 (2017 est.)

note: data are in 2010 dollars

country comparison to the world: 174

Gross national saving

33.5% of GDP (2019 est.)

29.2% of GDP (2018 est.)

30.5% of GDP (2017 est.)

country comparison to the world: 25

GDP - composition, by sector of origin

agriculture: 27.8% (2017 est.)

industry: 29.3% (2017 est.)

services: 42.9% (2017 est.)

GDP - composition, by end use

household consumption: 64.9% (2017 est.)

government consumption: 21.8% (2017 est.)

investment in fixed capital: 56.1% (2017 est.)

investment in inventories: -3.2% (2017 est.)

exports of goods and services: 39% (2017 est.)

imports of goods and services: -78.6% (2017 est.)

Ease of Doing Business Index scores

Overall score: 51.1 (2020)

Starting a Business score: 92.2 (2020)

Trading score: 60.3 (2020)

Enforcement score: 66 (2020)

Agricultural products

rice, milk, goat milk, sheep milk, sorghum, mutton, beef, camel milk, camel meat, dates

Industries

fish processing, oil production, mining (iron ore, gold, copper)

note: gypsum deposits have never been exploited

Industrial production growth rate

1% (2017 est.)

country comparison to the world: 157

Labor force

1.437 million (2017 est.)

country comparison to the world: 129

Labor force - by occupation

agriculture: 50%

industry: 1.9%

services: 48.1% (2014 est.)

Unemployment rate

10.2% (2017 est.)

10.1% (2016 est.)

country comparison to the world: 150

Population below poverty line

31% (2014 est.)

Gini Index coefficient - distribution of family income

32.6 (2014 est.)

39 (2006 est.)

country comparison to the world: 137

Household income or consumption by percentage share

lowest 10%: 2.5%

highest 10%: 29.5% (2000)

Budget

revenues: 1.354 billion (2017 est.)

expenditures: 1.396 billion (2017 est.)

Taxes and other revenues

27.4% (of GDP) (2017 est.)

country comparison to the world: 100

Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-)

-0.8% (of GDP) (2017 est.)

country comparison to the world: 69

Public debt

96.6% of GDP (2017 est.)

100% of GDP (2016 est.)

country comparison to the world: 21

Fiscal year

calendar year

Current account balance

-$711 million (2017 est.)

-$707 million (2016 est.)

country comparison to the world: 133

Exports

$321 million (2019 est.)

$290 million (2018 est.)

$302 million (2017 est.)

country comparison to the world: 185

Exports - partners

China 32%, Switzerland 13%, Spain 9%, Japan 9%, Italy 5% (2019)

Exports - commodities

iron ore, fish products, gold, mollusks, processed crustaceans (2019)

Imports

$318 million (2019 est.)

$321 million (2018 est.)

$319 million (2017 est.)

country comparison to the world: 204

Imports - partners

China 26%, France 6%, Spain 6%, Morocco 6%, United Arab Emirates 5% (2019)

Imports - commodities

ships, aircraft, wheat, raw sugar, refined petroleum (2019)

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold

$875 million (31 December 2017 est.)

$849.3 million (31 December 2016 est.)

country comparison to the world: 138

Debt - external

$4.15 billion (31 December 2017 est.)

$3.899 billion (31 December 2016 est.)

country comparison to the world: 139

Exchange rates

ouguiyas (MRO) per US dollar -

363.6 (2017 est.)

352.37 (2016 est.)

352.37 (2015 est.)

319.7 (2014 est.)

299.5 (2013 est.)

NOTE: The information regarding Mauritania 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 Mauritania 2021 information contained here. All suggestions for corrections of any errors about Mauritania 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.