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Gabon Economy 2008

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Economy - overview:
Gabon enjoys a per capita income four times that of most of sub-Saharan African nations. but because of high income inequality, a large proportion of the population remains poor. Gabon depended on timber and manganese until oil was discovered offshore in the early 1970s. The oil sector now accounts for 50% of GDP. Gabon continues to face fluctuating prices for its oil, timber, and manganese exports. Despite the abundance of natural wealth, poor fiscal management hobbles the economy. The devaluation of the CFA franc - its currency - by 50% in January 1994 sparked a one-time inflationary surge, to 35%; the rate dropped to 6% in 1996. The IMF provided a one-year standby arrangement in 1994-95, a three-year Enhanced Financing Facility (EFF) at near commercial rates beginning in late 1995, and stand-by credit of $119 million in October 2000. Those agreements mandated progress in privatization and fiscal discipline. France provided additional financial support in January 1997 after Gabon met IMF targets for mid-1996. In 1997, an IMF mission to Gabon criticized the government for overspending on off-budget items, overborrowing from the central bank, and slipping on its schedule for privatization and administrative reform. The rebound of oil prices since 1999 have helped growth, but drops in production have hampered Gabon from fully realizing potential gains, and will continue to temper the gains for most of this decade. In December 2000, Gabon signed a new agreement with the Paris Club to reschedule its official debt. A follow-up bilateral repayment agreement with the US was signed in December 2001. Gabon signed a 14-month Stand-By Arrangement with the IMF in May 2004, and received Paris Club debt rescheduling later that year. Short-term progress depends on an upbeat world economy and fiscal and other adjustments in line with IMF policies.

GDP (purchasing power parity):
$20.09 billion (2007 est.)

GDP (official exchange rate):
$7.431 billion (2007 est.)

GDP - real growth rate:
4.5% (2007 est.)

GDP - per capita (PPP):
$13,800 (2007 est.)

GDP - composition by sector:
agriculture: 5.8%
industry: 58.8%
services: 35.5% (2007 est.)

Labor force:
582,000 (2007 est.)

Labor force - by occupation:
agriculture: 60%
industry: 15%
services: 25%

Unemployment rate:
21% (2006 est.)

Population below poverty line:

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

Inflation rate (consumer prices):
5% (2007 est.)

Investment (gross fixed):
24% of GDP (2007 est.)

revenues: $3.353 billion
expenditures: $2.283 billion (2007 est.)

Public debt:
37.9% of GDP (2007 est.)

Agriculture - products:
cocoa, coffee, sugar, palm oil, rubber; cattle; okoume (a tropical softwood); fish

petroleum extraction and refining; manganese, gold; chemicals, ship repair, food and beverages, textiles, lumbering and plywood, cement

Industrial production growth rate:
5% (2007 est.)

Electricity - production:
1.52 billion kWh (2005)

Electricity - consumption:
1.241 billion kWh (2005)

Electricity - exports:
0 kWh (2005)

Electricity - imports:
0 kWh (2005)

Oil - production:
266,000 bbl/day (2005 est.)

Oil - consumption:
13,000 bbl/day (2005 est.)

Oil - exports:
228,000 bbl/day (2004)

Oil - imports:
2,436 bbl/day (2004)

Oil - proved reserves:
2.499 billion bbl (1 January 2006 est.)

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

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

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

natural gas - imports:
0 cu m (2005)

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

Current account balance:
$1.626 billion (2007 est.)

$6.856 billion f.o.b. (2007 est.)

Exports - commodities:
crude oil 77%, timber, manganese, uranium (2001)

Exports - partners:
US 27.6%, China 15.9%, France 7.8%, Trinidad and Tobago 5.4%, Thailand 4.3% (2006)

$1.951 billion f.o.b. (2007 est.)

Imports - partners:
France 35.3%, US 7.7%, Netherlands 5.6%, Cameroon 4.5%, Belgium 4.4% (2006)

Economic aid - recipient:
$53.87 million (2005)

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold:
$1.459 billion (31 December 2007 est.)

Debt - external:
$3.579 billion (31 December 2007 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 - 481.83 (2007), 522.89 (2006), 527.47 (2005), 528.29 (2004), 581.2 (2003)

Fiscal year:
calendar year

NOTE: The information regarding Gabon 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 Gabon Economy 2008 information contained here. All suggestions for corrections of any errors about Gabon Economy 2008 should be addressed to the CIA.

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This page was last modified 24-May-08
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