The Economy of Congo, Democratic Republic of the

The Economy of Congo, Democratic Republic of the

Congolese or Congo Economy

Economy - overview: The economy of the Democratic Republic of the Congo - a nation endowed with vast potential wealth - is slowly recovering from two decades of decline. Conflict that began in August 1998 has dramatically reduced national output and government revenue, increased external debt, and resulted in the deaths of more than 5 million people from violence, famine, and disease. Foreign businesses curtailed operations due to uncertainty about the outcome of the conflict, lack of infrastructure, and the difficult operating environment. Conditions began to improve in late 2002 with the withdrawal of a large portion of the invading foreign troops. The transitional government reopened relations with international financial institutions and international donors, and President KABILA began implementing reforms, although progress has been slow and the International Monetary Fund curtailed their program for the DRC at the end of March 2006 because of fiscal overruns. Much economic activity still occurs in the informal sector, and is not reflected in GDP data. Renewed activity in the mining sector, the source of most export income, boosted Kinshasa's fiscal position and GDP growth from 2006-2008, however, renewed strife in the second half of 2008, combined with a fall in world market prices for the DRC's key mineral exports inflicted major damage on the economy and halted growth. Government reforms may lead to increased government revenues, outside budget assistance, and foreign direct investment, although an uncertain legal framework, corruption, a lack of transparency in government policy are long-term problems. The DRC government has applied to the IMF for an Exogenous Shock Facility in the amount of $200 million to help it deal with its deteriorating financial situation, and the World Bank will consider a separate $100 million in emergency funding. The global recession probably will cut economic growth in 2009 to half its 2008 level.


GDP - real growth rate: 8% (2008 est.) 7% (2007 est.) 6.4% (2006 est.)

GDP - per capita:

GDP - composition by sector: agriculture: 55% industry: 11% services: 34% (2000 est.)

Population below poverty line:

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

Distribution of family income - Gini index:

Inflation rate (consumer prices):

Labor force: 15 million (2006 est.)

Labor force - by occupation: agriculture: NA% industry: NA% services: NA%

Unemployment rate: NA%

Budget: revenues: $700 million expenditures: $2 billion (2006 est.)

Industries: mining (diamonds, gold, copper, cobalt, coltan zinc), mineral processing, consumer products (including textiles, footwear, cigarettes, processed foods and beverages), cement, commercial ship repair

Industrial production growth rate: NA%

Electricity - production: 7.243 billion kWh (2006 est.)

Electricity - production by source:

Electricity - consumption: 5.158 billion kWh (2006 est.)

Electricity - exports: 1.799 billion kWh (2006 est.)

Electricity - imports: 6 million kWh (2006 est.)

Oil - production: 22,160 bbl/day (2007 est.)

Oil - consumption: 10,460 bbl/day (2006 est.)

Oil - exports: 19,820 bbl/day (2005)

Oil - imports: 8,220 bbl/day (2006 est.)

Oil - proved reserves: 180 million bbl (1 January 2008 est.)

Natural gas - production: 0 cu m (2007 est.)

Natural gas - consumption: 0 cu m (2007 est.)

Natural gas - exports: 0 cu m (2007 est.)

Natural gas - imports: 0 cu m (2007 est.)

Natural gas - proved reserves: 991.1 million cu m (1 January 2008 est.)

Agriculture - products: coffee, sugar, palm oil, rubber, tea, quinine, cassava (tapioca), palm oil, bananas, root crops, corn, fruits; wood products

Exports: $6.1 billion f.o.b. (2007)

Exports - commodities: diamonds, gold, copper, cobalt, wood products, crude oil, coffee

Exports - partners: Belgium 23.6%, China 21.7%, US 9.8%, Finland 9.1%, Brazil 9.1%, France 6.8%, Zambia 6% (2007)

Imports: $5.2 billion f.o.b. (2007)

Imports - commodities: foodstuffs, mining and other machinery, transport equipment, fuels

Imports - partners: South Africa 22.5%, Belgium 10.3%, Zambia 8.9%, Zimbabwe 7.5%, France 6.8%, Kenya 6.3%, US 4.1%, Cote d'Ivoire 4.1% (2007)

Debt - external: $10 billion (2007 est.)

Economic aid - recipient:


Currency code:

Exchange rates: Congolese francs (CDF) per US dollar - NA (2007), 464.69 (2006), 437.86 (2005), 401.04 (2004), 405.34 (2003)

Fiscal year:

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