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Benin Economy

    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 1996-98. 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. Support by the Paris Club and official bilateral creditors has 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 World Bank supported structural adjustment program since 1991.

    GDP: purchasing power parity—$7.6 billion (1998 est.)

    GDP—real growth rate: 4.4% (1998 est.)

    GDP—per capita: purchasing power parity—$1,300 (1998 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): 5.6% (1998 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 (1996)

    Electricity—production by source:
    fossil fuel: 100%
    hydro: 0%
    nuclear: 0%
    other: 0% (1996)

    Electricity—consumption: 251 million kWh (1996)

    Electricity—exports: 0 kWh (1996)

    Electricity—imports: 245 million kWh (1996)

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

    Exports: $250 million (f.o.b., 1998)

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

    Exports—partners: Brazil 18%, Portugal 11%, Morocco 10%, Libya 6%, France (1997)

    Imports: $314 million (f.o.b., 1998)

    Imports—commodities: foodstuffs, beverages, tobacco, petroleum products, intermediate goods, capital goods, light consumer goods

    Imports—partners: France 21%, UK 9%, Thailand 9%, Hong Kong 8%, China (1997)

    Debt—external: $1.6 billion (1996 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—566.36 (January 1999), 589.95 (1998), 583.67 (1997), 511.55 (1996), 499.15 (1995), 555.20 (1994)

    Fiscal year: calendar year

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Revised 1-Mar-99
Copyright © 1999 Photius Coutsoukis (all rights reserved)