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    Mauritania Economy 1998

      Economy - overview A majority of the population still depends on agriculture and livestock for a livelihood, even though most of the nomads and many subsistence farmers were forced into the cities by recurrent droughts in the 1970s and 1980s. Mauritania has extensive deposits of iron ore, which account for almost 50% of total exports. The decline in world demand for this ore, however, has led to cutbacks in production. The nation's coastal waters are among the richest fishing areas in the world, but overexploitation by foreigners threatens this key source of revenue. The country's first deepwater port opened near Nouakchott in 1986. In recent years, drought and economic mismanagement have resulted in a substantial buildup of foreign debt. The government has begun the second stage of an economic reform program in consultation with the World Bank, the IMF, and major donor countries. Short-term growth prospects are poor because of the heavy debt service burden, rapid population growth, and vulnerability to climatic conditions.

      GDP purchasing power parity - $4.1 billion (1996 est.)

      GDP - real growth rate 6% (1996 est.)

      GDP - per capita purchasing power parity - $1,750 (1996 est.)

      GDP - composition by sector
      agriculture: 26%
      industry: 31%
      services: 43% (1996)

      Inflation rate - consumer price index 4.7% (1996)

      Labor force
      total: 465,000 (1981 est.); 45,000 wage earners (1980)
      by occupation: agriculture 47%, services 29%, industry and commerce 14%, government 10%

      Unemployment rate 23% (1995 est.)

      revenues: $329 million
      expenditures: $265 million, including capital expenditures of $75 million (1996 est.)

      Industries fish processing, mining of iron ore and gypsum

      Industrial production growth rate 7.2% (1994)

      Electricity - capacity 105,000 kW (1995)

      Electricity - production 143 million kWh (1995)

      Electricity - consumption per capita 63 kWh (1995)

      Agriculture - products dates, millet, sorghum, root crops; cattle, sheep; fish products

      total value: $494 million (f.o.b., 1996)
      commodities: fish and fish products, iron ore, gold
      partners: Japan 22%, Italy 16%, France 14%

      total value: $457 million (c.i.f., 1996)
      commodities: foodstuffs, consumer goods, petroleum products, capital goods
      partners: France 30%, Algeria 10%, Spain 7%, China 6%, US 3%

      Debt - external $2.5 billion (1995)

      Economic aid
      recipient: ODA, $NA

      Currency 1 ouguiya (UM) = 5 khoums

      Exchange rates ouguiyas (UM) per US$1 - 169.880 (January 1998), 148.916 (1997), 137.222 (1996), 129.768 (1995), 123.575 (1994), 120.806 (1993)

      Fiscal year calendar year

      NOTE: The information regarding Mauritania on this page is re-published from the 1998 World Fact Book of the United States Central Intelligence Agency. No claims are made regarding the accuracy of Mauritania Economy 1998 information contained here. All suggestions for corrections of any errors about Mauritania Economy 1998 should be addressed to the CIA.

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    Revised 21-Dec-01
    Copyright © 2001 Photius Coutsoukis (all rights reserved)