Liberia/Economy

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Economy - overview: A civil war in 1989-96 destroyed much of Liberia's economy, especially the infrastructure in and around Monrovia. Many businessmen fled the country, taking capital and expertise with them. Some returned during 1997. Many will not return. Richly endowed with water, mineral resources, forests, and a climate favorable to agriculture, Liberia had been a producer and exporter of basic products, while local manufacturing, mainly foreign owned, had been small in scope. The democratically elected government, installed in August 1997, inherited massive international debts and currently relies on revenues from its maritime registry to provide the bulk of its foreign exchange earnings. The restoration of the infrastructure and the raising of incomes in this ravaged economy depend on the implementation of sound macro- and micro-economic policies of the new government, including the encouragement of foreign investment.

GDP: purchasing power parity - $2.85 billion (1999 est.)

GDP - real growth rate: 0.5% (1999 est.)

GDP - per capita: purchasing power parity - $1,000 (1999 est.)

GDP - composition by sector:
agriculture: 50%
industry: 15%
services: 35% (1999 est.)

Population below poverty line: 80%

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

Inflation rate (consumer prices): 3% (1998 est.)

Labor force - by occupation: agriculture 70%, industry 8%, services 22% (1999 est.)

Unemployment rate: 70%

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

Industries: rubber processing, palm oil processing, diamonds

Industrial production growth rate: 0%

Electricity - production: 490 million kWh (1998)

Electricity - production by source:
fossil fuel: 62.24%
hydro: 37.76%
nuclear: 0%
other: 0% (1998)

Electricity - consumption: 456 million kWh (1998)

Electricity - exports: 0 kWh (1998)

Electricity - imports: 0 kWh (1998)

Agriculture - products: rubber, coffee, cocoa, rice, cassava (tapioca), palm oil, sugarcane, bananas; sheep, goats; timber

Exports: $39 million (f.o.b., 1998 est.)

Exports - commodities: diamonds, iron ore, rubber, timber, coffee, cocoa

Exports - partners: Benelux 36%, Norway 18%, Ukraine 15%, Singapore 9% (1997)

Imports: $142 million (f.o.b., 1998 est.)

Imports - commodities: fuels, chemicals, machinery, transportation equipment, manufactured goods; rice and other foodstuffs

Imports - partners: South Korea 38%, Japan 14%, Italy 11%, Singapore 9% (1997)

Debt - external: $3 billion (1999 est.)

Economic aid - recipient: $200 million pledged (1998)

Currency: 1 Liberian dollar (L$) = 100 cents

Exchange rates: Liberian dollars (L$) per US$1 - 1.0000 (officially fixed rate since 1940); market exchange rate: Liberian dollars (L$) per US$1 - 40 (December 1998), 50 (October 1995); market rate floats against the US dollar

Fiscal year: calendar year