Economy of Gabon

Economy - overview:Gabon enjoys a per capita income four times that of most of sub-Saharan African nations. This has supported a sharp decline in extreme poverty; yet, because of high income inequality, a large proportion of the population remains poor. Gabon depended on timber and manganese until oil was discovered offshore in the early 1970s. The oil sector now accounts for 50% of GDP. Gabon continues to face fluctuating prices for its oil, timber, and manganese exports. Despite the abundance of natural wealth, poor fiscal management hobbles the economy. Devaluation of its currency by 50% in January 1994 sparked a one-time inflationary surge, to 35%; the rate dropped to 6% in 1996. The IMF provided a one-year standby arrangement in 1994-95, a three-year Enhanced Financing Facility (EFF) at near commercial rates beginning in late 1995, and stand-by credit of $119 million in October 2000. Those agreements mandated progress in privatization and fiscal discipline. France provided additional financial support in January 1997 after Gabon met IMF targets for mid-1996. In 1997, an IMF mission to Gabon criticized the government for overspending on off-budget items, overborrowing from the central bank, and slipping on its schedule for privatization and administrative reform. The rebound of oil prices in 1999-2000 helped growth, but drops in production hampered Gabon from fully realizing potential gains. In December 2000, Gabon signed a new agreement with the Paris Club to reschedule its official debt. A follow-up bilateral repayment agreement with the US was signed in December 2001. Gabon signed a 14-month Stand-By Arrangement with the IMF in May 2004, and received Paris Club debt rescheduling later that year. Short-term progress depends on an upbeat world economy and fiscal and other adjustments in line with IMF policies.
GDP (purchasing power parity):$10.17 billion (2006 est.)
GDP (official exchange rate):$6.931 billion (2006 est.)
GDP - real growth rate:1% (2006 est.)
GDP - per capita (PPP):$7,100 (2006 est.)
GDP - composition by sector:agriculture: 5.9%
industry: 59.7%
services: 34.4% (2006 est.)
Labor force:581,000 (2006 est.)
Labor force - by occupation:agriculture: 60%
industry: 15%
services: 25%
Unemployment rate:21% (1997 est.)
Population below poverty line:NA%
Household income or consumption by percentage share:lowest 10%: NA%
highest 10%: NA%
Inflation rate (consumer prices):2.2% (2006 est.)
Investment (gross fixed):22.4% of GDP (2006 est.)
Budget:revenues: $3.1 billion
expenditures: $2.181 billion; including capital expenditures of $325 million (2006 est.)
Public debt:28.6% of GDP (2006 est.)
Agriculture - products:cocoa, coffee, sugar, palm oil, rubber; cattle; okoume (a tropical softwood); fish
Industries:petroleum extraction and refining; manganese, gold; chemicals, ship repair, food and beverages, textiles, lumbering and plywood, cement
Industrial production growth rate:1.6% (2002 est.)
Electricity - production:1.543 billion kWh (2004)
Electricity - production by source:fossil fuel: 34.5%
hydro: 65.5%
nuclear: 0%
other: 0% (2001)
Electricity - consumption:1.435 billion kWh (2004)
Electricity - exports:0 kWh (2004)
Electricity - imports:0 kWh (2004)
Oil - production:268,900 bbl/day (2005 est.)
Oil - consumption:13,000 bbl/day (2004 est.)
Oil - exports:NA bbl/day
Oil - imports:NA bbl/day
Oil - proved reserves:1.827 billion bbl (2006 est.)
Natural gas - production:100 million cu m (2004 est.)
Natural gas - consumption:100 million cu m (2004 est.)
Natural gas - exports:0 cu m (2004 est.)
Natural gas - imports:0 cu m (2004 est.)
Natural gas - proved reserves:33.98 billion cu m (1 January 2005 est.)
Current account balance:$1.807 billion (2006 est.)
Exports:$6.677 billion f.o.b. (2006 est.)
Exports - commodities:crude oil 77%, timber, manganese, uranium (2001)
Exports - partners:US 27.2%, China 15.7%, France 7.7%, Trinidad and Tobago 5.3%, Thailand 4.2% (2006)
Imports:$1.607 billion f.o.b. (2006 est.)
Imports - commodities:machinery and equipment, foodstuffs, chemicals, construction materials
Imports - partners:France 35.2%, US 7.6%, Netherlands 5.5%, Cameroon 4.5%, Belgium 4.3% (2006)
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold:$835 million (2006 est.)
Debt - external:$3.971 billion (2006 est.)
Economic aid - recipient:$331 million (1995)
Currency (code):Communaute Financiere Africaine franc (XAF); note - responsible authority is the Bank of the Central African States
Currency code:XAF
Exchange rates:Communaute Financiere Africaine francs (XAF) per US dollar - 522.89 (2006), 527.47 (2005), 528.29 (2004), 581.2 (2003), 696.99 (2002)
Fiscal year:calendar year

Gabon Quickstats

  • Population: 1454867
  • Area: 267,667 sq km
  • Density: 5.2 /km² (216th)
  • GDP (total): $9.621 billion (136th)
  • GDP (per capita): $7,055 (89th)
  • Literacy: 0.632

Languages of Gabon

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  • Currency: CFA franc (XAF)
  • Dial code: +241

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