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    Central African Republic Economy - 2002

      Economy - overview Subsistence agriculture, together with forestry, remains the backbone of the economy of the Central African Republic (CAR), with more than 70% of the population living in outlying areas. The agricultural sector generates half of GDP. Timber has accounted for about 16% of export earnings and the diamond industry for 54%. Important constraints to economic development include the CAR's landlocked position, a poor transportation system, a largely unskilled work force, and a legacy of misdirected macroeconomic policies. The 50% devaluation of the currencies of 14 Francophone African nations on 12 January 1994 had mixed effects on the CAR's economy. Diamond, timber, coffee, and cotton exports increased, leading an estimated rise of GDP of 7% in 1994 and nearly 5% in 1995. Military rebellions and social unrest in 1996 were accompanied by widespread destruction of property and a drop in GDP of 2%. The IMF approved an Extended Structure Adjustment Facility in 1998 and the World Bank extended further credits in 1999 and approved a $10 million loan in early 2001. As of January 2002, many civil servants were owed as much as 16 months pay during the PATASSE administration, as well as 14 months pay from the KOLINGBA administration.

      GDP purchasing power parity - $4.6 billion (2001 est.)

      GDP - real growth rate 1.8% (2001 est.)

      GDP - per capita purchasing power parity - $1,300 (2001 est.)

      GDP - composition by sector
      agriculture: 55%
      industry: 20%
      services: 25% (2001 est.)

      Population below poverty line NA%

      Household income or consumption by percentage share
      lowest 10%: 0.7%
      highest 10%: 47.7% (1993)

      Distribution of family income - Gini index 61.3 (1993)

      Inflation rate (consumer prices) 3.6% (2001 est.)

      Labor force NA

      Unemployment rate 8% (23% for Bangui) (2001 est.)

      revenues: $NA
      expenditures: $NA, including capital expenditures of $NA

      Industries diamond mining, sawmills, breweries, textiles, footwear, assembly of bicycles and motorcycles

      Industrial production growth rate 3.9% (2001)

      Electricity - production 104 million kWh (2000)

      Electricity - production by source
      fossil fuel: 20.19%
      hydro: 79.81%
      other: 0% (2000)
      nuclear: 0%

      Electricity - consumption 96.72 million kWh (2000)

      Electricity - exports 0 kWh (2000)

      Electricity - imports 0 kWh (2000)

      Agriculture - products cotton, coffee, tobacco, manioc (tapioca), yams, millet, corn, bananas; timber

      Exports $166 million (f.o.b., 2000)

      Exports - commodities diamonds, timber, cotton, coffee, tobacco

      Exports - partners Benelux 64%, Cote d'Ivoire, Spain, China, Egypt, France (1999)

      Imports $154 million (f.o.b., 2000)

      Imports - commodities food, textiles, petroleum products, machinery, electrical equipment, motor vehicles, chemicals, pharmaceuticals, consumer goods, industrial products

      Imports - partners France 35%, Cameroon 13%, Benelux, Cote d'Ivoire, Germany, Japan (1999)

      Debt - external $881.4 million (2000 est.)

      Economic aid - recipient $172.2 million (1995); note - traditional budget subsidies from France

      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 - 742.79 (January 2002), 733.04 (2001), 711.98 (2000), 615.70 (1999), 589.95 (1998), 583.67 (1997); note - from 1 January 1999, the XAF is pegged to the euro at a rate of 655.957 XAF per euro

      Fiscal year calendar year

      NOTE: The information regarding Central African Republic on this page is re-published from the 2002 World Fact Book of the United States Central Intelligence Agency. No claims are made regarding the accuracy of Central African Republic Economy 2002 information contained here. All suggestions for corrections of any errors about Central African Republic Economy 2002 should be addressed to the CIA.

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    Revised 30-Jan-03
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