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    Congo, Republic of the Economy - 2002

      Economy - overview The economy is a mixture of village agriculture and handicrafts, an industrial sector based largely on oil, support services, and a government characterized by budget problems and overstaffing. Oil has supplanted forestry as the mainstay of the economy, providing a major share of government revenues and exports. In the early 1980s, rapidly rising oil revenues enabled the government to finance large-scale development projects with GDP growth averaging 5% annually, one of the highest rates in Africa. The government has mortgaged a substantial portion of its oil earnings, contributing to a shortage of revenues. The 12 January 1994 devaluation of Franc Zone currencies by 50% resulted in inflation of 61% in 1994, but inflation has subsided since. Economic reform efforts continued with the support of international organizations, notably the World Bank and the IMF. The reform program came to a halt in June 1997 when civil war erupted. Denis SASSOU-NGUESSO, who returned to power when the war ended in October 1997, publicly expressed interest in moving forward on economic reforms and privatization and in renewing cooperation with international financial institutions. However, economic progress was badly hurt by slumping oil prices and the resumption of armed conflict in December 1998, which worsened the republic's budget deficit. Given a fragile peace, agreements with the IMF and the World Bank, and general international support for reconstruction and development, prospects for structural reform and 4% growth in 2002-03 appear strong.

      GDP purchasing power parity - $2.5 billion (2001 est.)

      GDP - real growth rate 4.2% (2001 est.)

      GDP - per capita purchasing power parity - $900 (2001 est.)

      GDP - composition by sector
      agriculture: 10%
      industry: 48%
      services: 42% (2001 est.)

      Population below poverty line NA%

      Household income or consumption by percentage share
      lowest 10%: NA%
      highest 10%: NA%

      Inflation rate (consumer prices) 3% (2001 est.)

      Labor force NA

      Unemployment rate NA%

      revenues: $870 million
      expenditures: $970 million, including capital expenditures of $NA (1997 est.)

      Industries petroleum extraction, cement, lumber, brewing, sugar, palm oil, soap, flour, cigarettes

      Industrial production growth rate NA%

      Electricity - production 302 million kWh (1999)

      Electricity - production by source
      fossil fuel: 0.66%
      hydro: 99.34%
      other: 0% (1999)
      nuclear: 0%

      Electricity - consumption 406.9 million kWh (1999)

      Electricity - exports 0 kWh (1999)

      Electricity - imports 126 million kWh (1999)

      Agriculture - products cassava (tapioca), sugar, rice, corn, peanuts, vegetables, coffee, cocoa; forest products

      Exports $2.6 billion (f.o.b., 2001)

      Exports - commodities petroleum 90%, lumber, plywood, sugar, cocoa, coffee, diamonds

      Exports - partners US 20.9%, South Korea 15.5%, China 6.7%, Germany 3.2% (2000)

      Imports $725 million (f.o.b., 2001)

      Imports - commodities petroleum products, capital equipment, construction materials, foodstuffs

      Imports - partners France 20.5%, US 9.8%, Italy 7.5%, Belgium 3.8% (2000)

      Debt - external $5 billion (1999 est.)

      Economic aid - recipient $159.1 million (1995)

      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 Congo, Republic of the 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 Congo, Republic of the Economy 2002 information contained here. All suggestions for corrections of any errors about Congo, Republic of the Economy 2002 should be addressed to the CIA.

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