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Congo, Republic of the Economy 2008

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Economy - overview:
The economy is a mixture of subsistance agriculture, an industrial sector based largely on oil, and 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 through oil-backed loans that have contributed to a growing debt burden and chronic revenue shortfalls. Economic reform efforts have been undertaken with the support of international organizations, notably the World Bank and the IMF. However, 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. 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. The current administration presides over an uneasy internal peace and faces difficult economic challenges of stimulating recovery and reducing poverty. Recovery of oil prices has boosted the economy's GDP and near-term prospects. In March 2006, the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) approved Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) treatment for Congo.

GDP (purchasing power parity):
$13.97 billion (2007 est.)

GDP (official exchange rate):
$5.368 billion (2007 est.)

GDP - real growth rate:
2.8% (2007 est.)

GDP - per capita (PPP):
$3,700 (2007 est.)

GDP - composition by sector:
agriculture: 5.6%
industry: 57.1%
services: 37.3% (2006 est.)

Labor force:

Unemployment rate:

Population below poverty line:

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

Inflation rate (consumer prices):
7% (2007 est.)

Investment (gross fixed):
31.5% of GDP (2007 est.)

revenues: $3.639 billion
expenditures: $2.104 billion (2007 est.)

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

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

Industrial production growth rate:
-1% (2007 est.)

Electricity - production:
7.341 billion kWh (2005)

Electricity - consumption:
5.272 billion kWh (2005)

Electricity - exports:
1.8 billion kWh (2005)

Electricity - imports:
6 million kWh (2005)

Oil - production:
19,750 bbl/day (2005 est.)

Oil - consumption:
11,000 bbl/day (2005 est.)

Oil - exports:
20,750 bbl/day (2004)

Oil - imports:
11,410 bbl/day (2004)

Oil - proved reserves:
187 million bbl (1 January 2006 est.)

natural gas - production:
115.1 million cu m (2005 est.)

natural gas - consumption:
115.1 million cu m (2005 est.)

natural gas - exports:
0 cu m (2005 est.)

natural gas - imports:
0 cu m (2005)

natural gas - proved reserves:
86.9 billion cu m (1 January 2006 est.)

Current account balance:
$1.094 billion (2007 est.)

$6.455 billion f.o.b. (2007 est.)

Exports - commodities:
petroleum, lumber, plywood, sugar, cocoa, coffee, diamonds

Exports - partners:
US 35.9%, China 31.4%, Taiwan 9.9%, South Korea 8% (2006)

$1.724 billion f.o.b. (2007 est.)

Imports - partners:
France 21.7%, China 12.1%, Zimbabwe 8.3%, US 6.9%, India 6.4%, Italy 5.1%, Belgium 4.8% (2006)

Economic aid - recipient:
$1.449 billion (2005)

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold:
$2.242 billion (31 December 2007 est.)

Debt - external:
$5 billion (2000 est.)

Market value of publicly traded shares:

Currency (code):
Communaute Financiere Africaine franc (XAF); note - responsible authority is the Bank of the Central African States

Exchange rates:
Communaute Financiere Africaine francs (XAF) per US dollar - 483.6 (2007), 522.59 (2006), 527.47 (2005), 528.29 (2004), 581.2 (2003)

Fiscal year:
calendar year

NOTE: The information regarding Congo, Republic of the on this page is re-published from the 2008 World Fact Book of the United States Central Intelligence Agency. No claims are made regarding the accuracy of Congo, Republic of the Economy 2008 information contained here. All suggestions for corrections of any errors about Congo, Republic of the Economy 2008 should be addressed to the CIA.

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This page was last modified 24-May-08
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