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Cape Verde Economy

    Economy—overview: Cape Verde's low per capita GDP reflects a poor natural resource base, including serious water shortages exacerbated by cycles of long-term drought. The economy is service-oriented, with commerce, transport, and public services accounting for almost 70% of GDP. Although nearly 70% of the population lives in rural areas, the share of agriculture in GDP in 1995 was only 8%, of which fishing accounts for 1.5%. About 90% of food must be imported. The fishing potential, mostly lobster and tuna, is not fully exploited. Cape Verde annually runs a high trade deficit, financed by foreign aid and remittances from emigrants; remittances constitute a supplement to GDP of more than 20%. Economic reforms, launched by the new democratic government in 1991, are aimed at developing the private sector and attracting foreign investment to diversify the economy. Prospects for 1999 depend heavily on the maintenance of aid flows, remittances, and the momentum of the government's development program.

    GDP: purchasing power parity—$581 million (1998 est.)

    GDP—real growth rate: 7% (1998 est.)

    GDP—per capita: purchasing power parity—$1,450 (1998 est.)

    GDP—composition by sector:
    agriculture: 8%
    industry: 18%
    services: 74% (1996 est.)

    Population below poverty line: NA%

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

    Inflation rate (consumer prices): 4.3% (1998)

    Labor force: NA

    Unemployment rate: NA %

    Budget:
    revenues: $188 million
    expenditures: $228 million, including capital expenditures of $116 million (1996)

    Industries: food and beverages, fish processing, shoes and garments, salt mining, ship repair,

    Industrial production growth rate: NA%

    Electricity—production: 40 million kWh (1996)

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

    Electricity—consumption: 40 million kWh (1996)

    Electricity—exports: 0 kWh (1996)

    Electricity—imports: 0 kWh (1996)

    Agriculture—products: bananas, corn, beans, sweet potatoes, sugarcane, coffee, peanuts; fish

    Exports: $43 million (f.o.b., 1997 est.)

    Exports—commodities: shoes, garments, fish, bananas, hides,

    Exports—partners: Portugal, Germany, Spain, France, UK, Malaysia

    Imports: $215 million (f.o.b., 1997 est.)

    Imports—commodities: foodstuffs, consumer goods, industrial products, transport equipment, fuels

    Imports—partners: Portugal 25%, Netherlands, France, UK, Spain, US

    Debt—external: $220 million (1998)

    Economic aid—recipient: $111.3 million (1995)

    Currency: 1 Cape Verdean escudo (CVEsc) = 100 centavos

    Exchange rates: Cape Verdean escudos (CVEsc) per US$1—96.400 (November 1998), 99.41 (1998), 93.177 (1997), 82.591 (1996), 76.853 (1995), 81.891 (1994)

    Fiscal year: calendar year

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