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Reunion (overseas department of France) Economy

    Economy—overview: The economy has traditionally been based on agriculture. Sugarcane has been the primary crop for more than a century, and in some years it accounts for 85% of exports. The government has been pushing the development of a tourist industry to relieve high unemployment, which recently amounted to one-third of the labor force. The gap in Reunion between the well-off and the poor is extraordinary and accounts for the persistent social tensions. The white and Indian communities are substantially better off than other segments of the population, often approaching European standards, whereas indigenous groups suffer the poverty and unemployment typical of the poorer nations of the African continent. The outbreak of severe rioting in February 1991 illustrates the seriousness of socioeconomic tensions. The economic well-being of Reunion depends heavily on continued financial assistance from France.

    GDP: purchasing power parity—$3.4 billion (1998 est.)

    GDP—real growth rate: 3.8% (1998 est.)

    GDP—per capita: purchasing power parity—$4,800 (1998 est.)

    GDP—composition by sector:
    agriculture: NA%
    industry: NA%
    services: NA%

    Population below poverty line: NA%

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

    Inflation rate (consumer prices): NA%

    Labor force: 261,000 (1995)

    Labor force—by occupation: agriculture 8%, industry 19%, services 73% (1990)

    Unemployment rate: 35% (1994)

    Budget:
    revenues: $856.7 million
    expenditures: $2.2437 billion, including capital expenditures of $NA (1993)

    Industries: sugar, rum, cigarettes, handicraft items, flower oil extraction

    Industrial production growth rate: NA%

    Electricity—production: 1.1 billion kWh (1996)

    Electricity—production by source:
    fossil fuel: 54.55%
    hydro: 45.45%
    nuclear: 0%
    other: 0% (1996)

    Electricity—consumption: 1.1 billion kWh (1996)

    Electricity—exports: 0 kWh (1996)

    Electricity—imports: 0 kWh (1996)

    Agriculture—products: sugarcane, vanilla, tobacco, tropical fruits, vegetables, corn

    Exports: $171.78 million (f.o.b., 1994)

    Exports—commodities: sugar 63%, rum and molasses 4%, perfume essences 2%, lobster 3%, (1993)

    Exports—partners: France 74%, Japan 6%, Comoros 4% (1994)

    Imports: $2.35 billion (c.i.f., 1994)

    Imports—commodities: manufactured goods, food, beverages, tobacco, machinery and transportation equipment, raw materials, and petroleum products

    Imports—partners: France 67%, Bahrain 4%, Italy 3% (1994)

    Debt—external: $NA

    Economic aid—recipient: $NA; note—substantial annual subsidies from France

    Currency: 1 French franc (F) = 100 centimes

    Exchange rates: French francs (F) per US$1—5.65 (January 1999), 5.8995 (1998), 5.8367 (1997), 5.1155 (1996), 4.9915 (1995), 5.5520 (1994)

    Fiscal year: calendar year

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