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Benin:
Economy

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Economy - overview
Definition
The economy of Benin remains underdeveloped and dependent on subsistence agriculture, cotton production, and regional trade. Growth in real output has averaged around 5% in the past seven years, but rapid population growth has offset much of this increase. Inflation has subsided over the past several years. In order to raise growth still further, Benin plans to attract more foreign investment, place more emphasis on tourism, facilitate the development of new food processing systems and agricultural products, and encourage new information and communication technology. Specific projects to improve the business climate by reforms to the land tenure system, the commercial justice system, and the financial sector were included in Benin's $307 million Millennium Challenge Account grant signed in February 2006. The 2001 privatization policy continues in telecommunications, water, electricity, and agriculture though the government annulled the privatization of Benin's state cotton company in November 2007 after the discovery of irregularities in the bidding process. The Paris Club and bilateral creditors have eased the external debt situation, with Benin benefiting from a G8 debt reduction announced in July 2005, while pressing for more rapid structural reforms. An insufficient electrical supply continues to adversely affect Benin's economic growth though the government recently has taken steps to increase domestic power production.
GDP (purchasing power parity)
Definition - World rank and map
$12.1 billion (2007 est.)
GDP (official exchange rate)
Definition
$5.433 billion (2007 est.)
GDP - real growth rate
Definition - World rank and map
4.2% (2007 est.)
GDP - per capita
Definition - World rank and map
$1,500 (2007 est.)
GDP - composition by sector
Definition
agriculture: 33.2%
industry: 14.5%
services: 52.3% (2007 est.)
Labor force
Definition
5.38 million (2007 est.)
Unemployment rate
Definition - World rank and map
NA%
Population below poverty line
Definition
37.4% (2007 est.)
Household income or consumption by percentage share
Definition
lowest 10%: 3.1%
highest 10%: 29% (2003)
Distribution of family income - Gini index
Definition - World rank and map
36.5 (2003)
Inflation rate (consumer prices)
Definition - World rank and map
2% (2007 est.)
Investment (gross fixed)
Definition - World rank and map
19.4% of GDP (2007 est.)
Budget
Definition
revenues: $959.2 million
expenditures: $1.211 billion (2007 est.)
Agriculture - products
Definition
cotton, corn, cassava (tapioca), yams, beans, palm oil, peanuts, cashews; livestock
Industries
Definition
textiles, food processing, construction materials, cement
Industrial production growth rate
Definition - World rank and map
4.5% (2007 est.)
Electricity - production
Definition - World rank and map
105 million kWh (2005)
Electricity - consumption
Definition - World rank and map
587 million kWh (2005)
Electricity - consumption per capita
Definition - World rank and map
70.8 kWh (2005)
Electricity - exports
Definition
0 kWh (2005)
Electricity - imports
Definition
595 million kWh (2005)
Oil - production
Definition - World rank and map
0 bbl/day (2007)
Oil - consumption
Definition - World rank and map
9,232 bbl/day (2007 est.)
Oil - consumption per 1,000 people
Definition - World rank and map
1.1 bbl/day (2007 est.)
Oil - exports
Definition - World rank and map
0 bbl/day (2007)
Oil - imports
Definition - World rank and map
16,830 bbl/day (2007 est.)
Oil - proved reserves
Definition - World rank and map
8.21 million bbl (1 January 2006 est.)
Natural gas - production
Definition - World rank and map
0 cu m (2005 est.)
Natural gas - consumption
Definition - World rank and map
0 cu m (2005 est.)
Natural gas - consumption per capita
Definition - World rank and map
0 cu m (2005 est.)
Natural gas - exports
Definition - World rank and map
0 cu m (2005 est.)
Natural gas - imports
Definition - World rank and map
0 cu m (2005)
Natural gas - proved reserves
Definition - World rank and map
1.086 billion cu m (1 January 2006 est.)
Current account balance
Definition - World rank and map
-$310 million (2007 est.)
Exports
Definition - World rank and map
$585 million f.o.b. (2007 est.)
Exports - commodities
Definition
cotton, cashews, shea butter, textiles, palm products, seafood
Exports - partners
Definition
China 23.1%, Indonesia 8.3%, India 7.2%, Niger 5.8%, Togo 4.7%, Nigeria 4.7%, Belgium 4% (2006)
Imports
Definition - World rank and map
$1.095 billion f.o.b. (2007 est.)
Imports - commodities
Definition
foodstuffs, capital goods, petroleum products
Imports - partners
Definition
China 45.1%, France 8.2%, US 6.6%, Thailand 6.4%, Malaysia 4.8% (2006)
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold
Definition - World rank and map
$1.209 billion (31 December 2007 est.)
Debt - external
Definition - World rank and map
$1.2 billion (2007)
Market value of publicly traded shares
Definition
$NA
Economic aid - recipient
Definition
$374.7 million (2006)
Currency (code)
Definition
Communaute Financiere Africaine franc (XOF); note - responsible authority is the Central Bank of the West African States
Exchange rates
Definition
Communaute Financiere Africaine francs (XOF) per US dollar - 493.51 (2007), 522.59 (2006), 527.47 (2005), 528.29 (2004), 581.2 (2003)
note: since 1 January 1999, the XOF franc has been pegged to the euro at a rate of 655.957 XOF francs per euro
Fiscal year
Definition
calendar year


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