Benin/Economy

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Economy - overview: The economy of Benin remains underdeveloped and dependent on subsistence agriculture, cotton production, and regional trade. Growth in real output has averaged a sound 4% in 1990-95 and 5% in 1996-99. Rapid population growth has offset much of this growth in output. Inflation has subsided over the past three years. Commercial and transport activities, which make up a large part of GDP, are vulnerable to developments in Nigeria, particularly fuel shortages. The Paris Club and bilateral creditors have eased the external debt situation in recent years. The government, still burdened with money-losing state enterprises and a bloated civil service, has been gradually implementing a structural adjustment program since 1991.

GDP: purchasing power parity - $8.1 billion (1999 est.)

GDP - real growth rate: 5% (1999 est.)

GDP - per capita: purchasing power parity - $1,300 (1999 est.)

GDP - composition by sector:
agriculture: 34%
industry: 14%
services: 52% (1997)

Population below poverty line: 33% (1995 est.)

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

Inflation rate (consumer prices): 3% (1999 est.)

Labor force: NA

Unemployment rate: NA%

Budget:
revenues: $299 million
expenditures: $445 million, including capital expenditures of $14 million (1995 est.)

Industries: textiles, cigarettes; beverages, food; construction materials, petroleum

Industrial production growth rate: NA%

Electricity - production: 6 million kWh (1998)

Electricity - production by source:
fossil fuel: 100%
hydro: 0%
nuclear: 0%
other: 0% (1998)

Electricity - consumption: 276 million kWh (1998)

Electricity - exports: 0 kWh (1998)

Electricity - imports: 270 million kWh (1998)

Agriculture - products: corn, sorghum, cassava (tapioca), yams, beans, rice, cotton, palm oil, peanuts; poultry, livestock

Exports: $396 million (f.o.b., 1999)

Exports - commodities: cotton, crude oil, palm products, cocoa

Exports - partners: Brazil 32%, Libya, Indonesia, Spain (1998)

Imports: $566 million (f.o.b., 1999)

Imports - commodities: foodstuffs, tobacco, petroleum products, capital goods

Imports - partners: France 22%, China 16%, UK, Netherlands (1998)

Debt - external: $1.6 billion (1997 est.)

Economic aid - recipient: $281.2 million (1995)

Currency: 1 Communaute Financiere Africaine franc (CFAF) = 100 centimes

Exchange rates: CFA francs (CFAF) per US$1 - 647.25 (January 2000), 615.70 (1999), 589.95 (1998), 583.67 (1997), 511.55 (1996), 499.15 (1995)
note: from 1 January 1999, the CFAF is pegged to the euro at a rate of 655.957 CFA francs per euro

Fiscal year: calendar year