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Burundi Economy

    Economy—overview: Burundi is a landlocked, resource-poor country with a poorly developed manufacturing sector. The economy is predominately agricultural with roughly 90% of the population dependent on subsistence agriculture. Its economic health depends on the coffee crop, which accounts for 80% of foreign exchange earnings. The ability to pay for imports therefore rests largely on the vagaries of the climate and the international coffee market. Since October 1993 the nation has suffered from massive ethnic-based violence which has resulted in the death of perhaps 250,000 persons and the displacement of about 800,000 others. Foods, medicines, and electricity remain in short supply.

    GDP: purchasing power parity—$4.1 billion (1998 est.)

    GDP—real growth rate: 4.5% (1998 est.)

    GDP—per capita: purchasing power parity—$740 (1998 est.)

    GDP—composition by sector:
    agriculture: 58%
    industry: 18%
    services: 24% (1997 est.)

    Population below poverty line: 36.2% (1990 est.)

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

    Inflation rate (consumer prices): 17% (1998 est.)

    Labor force: 1.9 million

    Labor force—by occupation: agriculture 93%, government 4%, industry and commerce 1.5%, services 1.5% (1983 est.)

    Unemployment rate: NA%

    Budget:
    revenues: $NA
    expenditures: $165 million, including capital expenditures of $42.6 million (1998 est.)

    Industries: light consumer goods such as blankets, shoes, soap; assembly of imported components; public works construction; food processing

    Industrial production growth rate: NA%

    Electricity—production: 122 million kWh (1996)

    Electricity—production by source:
    fossil fuel: 1.64%
    hydro: 98.36%
    nuclear: 0%
    other: 0% (1996)

    Electricity—consumption: 152 million kWh (1996)

    Electricity—exports: 0 kWh (1996)

    Electricity—imports: 30 million kWh (1996)
    note: imports some electricity from Democratic Republic of the Congo

    Agriculture—products: coffee, cotton, tea, corn, sorghum, sweet potatoes, bananas, manioc (tapioca); beef, milk, hides

    Exports: $49 million (f.o.b., 1998)

    Exports—commodities: coffee, tea, cotton, hides

    Exports—partners: UK, Germany, Benelux, Switzerland (1997)

    Imports: $102 million f.o.b., 1998)

    Imports—commodities: capital goods, petroleum products, foodstuffs, consumer goods

    Imports—partners: Benelux, France, Germany, Japan (1997)

    Debt—external: $1.1 billion (1995 est.)

    Economic aid—recipient: $286.1 million (1995)

    Currency: 1 Burundi franc (FBu) = 100 centimes

    Exchange rates: Burundi francs (FBu) per US$1—508 (January 1999), 477.77 (1998), 352.35 (1997), 302.75 (1996), 249.76 (1995), 252.66 (1994)

    Fiscal year: calendar year

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