Cameroon Economy - 2022


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Economic overview

Cameroon’s market-based, diversified economy features oil and gas, timber, aluminum, agriculture, mining and the service sector. Oil remains Cameroon’s main export commodity, and despite falling global oil prices, still accounts for nearly 40% of exports. Cameroon’s economy suffers from factors that often impact underdeveloped countries, such as stagnant per capita income, a relatively inequitable distribution of income, a top-heavy civil service, endemic corruption, continuing inefficiencies of a large parastatal system in key sectors, and a generally unfavorable climate for business enterprise.


Since 1990, the government has embarked on various IMF and World Bank programs designed to spur business investment, increase efficiency in agriculture, improve trade, and recapitalize the nation's banks. The IMF continues to press for economic reforms, including increased budget transparency, privatization, and poverty reduction programs. The Government of Cameroon provides subsidies for electricity, food, and fuel that have strained the federal budget and diverted funds from education, healthcare, and infrastructure projects, as low oil prices have led to lower revenues.


Cameroon devotes significant resources to several large infrastructure projects currently under construction, including a deep seaport in Kribi and the Lom Pangar Hydropower Project. Cameroon’s energy sector continues to diversify, recently opening a natural gas-powered electricity generating plant. Cameroon continues to seek foreign investment to improve its inadequate infrastructure, create jobs, and improve its economic footprint, but its unfavorable business environment remains a significant deterrent to foreign investment.

Real GDP (purchasing power parity)

$94.94 billion (2020 est.)

$94.25 billion (2019 est.)

$90.87 billion (2018 est.)

note: data are in 2017 dollars

Real GDP growth rate

3.5% (2017 est.)

4.6% (2016 est.)

5.7% (2015 est.)

Real GDP per capita

$3,600 (2020 est.)

$3,600 (2019 est.)

$3,600 (2018 est.)

note: data are in 2017 dollars

GDP (official exchange rate)

$34.99 billion (2017 est.)

Inflation rate (consumer prices)

2.4% (2019 est.)

1% (2018 est.)

0.6% (2017 est.)

Credit ratings

Fitch rating: B (2006)

Moody's rating: B2 (2016)

Standard & Poors rating: B- (2020)

note: The year refers to the year in which the current credit rating was first obtained.

GDP - composition, by sector of origin

agriculture: 16.7% (2017 est.)

industry: 26.5% (2017 est.)

services: 56.8% (2017 est.)

GDP - composition, by end use

household consumption: 66.3% (2017 est.)

government consumption: 11.8% (2017 est.)

investment in fixed capital: 21.6% (2017 est.)

investment in inventories: -0.3% (2017 est.)

exports of goods and services: 21.6% (2017 est.)

imports of goods and services: -20.9% (2017 est.)

Agricultural products

cassava, plantains, maize, oil palm fruit, taro, sugar cane, sorghum, tomatoes, bananas, vegetables


petroleum production and refining, aluminum production, food processing, light consumer goods, textiles, lumber, ship repair

Industrial production growth rate

3.3% (2017 est.)

Labor force

9.912 million (2017 est.)

Labor force - by occupation

agriculture: 70%

industry: 13%

services: 17% (2001 est.)

Unemployment rate

4.3% (2014 est.)

30% (2001 est.)

Youth unemployment rate (ages 15-24)

total: 6.3%

male: 5.8%

female: 6.8% (2014 est.)

Population below poverty line

37.5% (2014 est.)

Gini Index coefficient - distribution of family income

46.5 (2014 est.)

46.6 (2014 est.)

Household income or consumption by percentage share

lowest 10%: 37.5%

highest 10%: 35.4% (2001)


revenues: 5.363 billion (2017 est.)

expenditures: 6.556 billion (2017 est.)

Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-)

-3.4% (of GDP) (2017 est.)

Public debt

36.9% of GDP (2017 est.)

32.5% of GDP (2016 est.)

Taxes and other revenues

15.3% (of GDP) (2017 est.)

Fiscal year

1 July - 30 June

Current account balance

-$932 million (2017 est.)

-$1.034 billion (2016 est.)


$7.73 billion (2019 est.)

$7.3 billion (2018 est.)

note: Data are in current year dollars and do not include illicit exports or re-exports.

Exports - partners

China 17%, Netherlands 14%, Italy 9%, United Arab Emirates 8%, India 7%, United States 6%, Belgium 6%, Spain 5%, France 5% (2019)

Exports - commodities

crude petroleum, cocoa beans, lumber, gold, natural gas, bananas (2019)


$9.09 billion (2019 est.) note: data are in current year dollars

$8.42 billion (2018 est.) note: data are in current year dollars

Imports - partners

China 28%, Nigeria 15%, France 9%, Belgium 6% (2019)

Imports - commodities

crude petroleum, scrap vessels, rice, special purpose ships, packaged medicines (2019)

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold

$3.235 billion (31 December 2017 est.)

$2.26 billion (31 December 2016 est.)

Debt - external

$9.375 billion (31 December 2017 est.)

$7.364 billion (31 December 2016 est.)

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 Cameroon on this page is re-published from the 2022 World Fact Book of the United States Central Intelligence Agency and other sources. No claims are made regarding the accuracy of Cameroon 2022 information contained here. All suggestions for corrections of any errors about Cameroon 2022 should be addressed to the CIA or the source cited on each page.

This page was last modified 01 Dec 23, Copyright © 23 ITA all rights reserved.