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Djibouti Economy

    Economy—overview: The economy is based on service activities connected with the country's strategic location and status as a free trade zone in northeast Africa. Two-thirds of the inhabitants live in the capital city, the remainder being mostly nomadic herders. Scanty rainfall limits crop production to fruits and vegetables, and most food must be imported. Djibouti provides services as both a transit port for the region and an international transshipment and refueling center. It has few natural resources and little industry. The nation is, therefore, heavily dependent on foreign assistance to help support its balance of payments and to finance development projects. An unemployment rate of 40% to 50% continues to be a major problem. Per capita consumption dropped an estimated 35% over the last seven years because of recession, civil war, and a high population growth rate (including immigrants and refugees). Also, renewed fighting between Ethiopia and Eritrea has disturbed normal external channels of commerce. Faced with a multitude of economic difficulties, the government has fallen in arrears on long-term external debt and has been struggling to meet the stipulations of foreign aid donors.

    GDP: purchasing power parity—$530 million (1998 est.)

    GDP—real growth rate: 0.6% (1998 est.)

    GDP—per capita: purchasing power parity—$1,200 (1998 est.)

    GDP—composition by sector:
    agriculture: 3%
    industry: 20%
    services: 77% (1996 est.)

    Population below poverty line: NA%

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

    Inflation rate (consumer prices): 3% (1997 est.)

    Labor force: 282,000

    Labor force—by occupation: agriculture 75%, industry 11%, services 14% (1991 est.)

    Unemployment rate: 40%-50% (1996 est.)

    Budget:
    revenues: $156 million
    expenditures: $175 million, including capital expenditures of $NA (1997 est.)

    Industries: limited to a few small-scale enterprises, such as dairy products and mineral-water bottling

    Industrial production growth rate: 3% (1996 est.)

    Electricity—production: 175 million kWh (1996)

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

    Electricity—consumption: 175 million kWh (1996)

    Electricity—exports: 0 kWh (1996)

    Electricity—imports: 0 kWh (1996)

    Agriculture—products: fruits, vegetables; goats, sheep, camels

    Exports: $39.6 million (f.o.b., 1996 est.)

    Exports—commodities: hides and skins, coffee (in transit) (1995)

    Exports—partners: Ethiopia 45%, Somalia, Yemen, Saudi Arabia (1996)

    Imports: $200.5 million (f.o.b., 1996 est.)

    Imports—commodities: foods, beverages, transport equipment, chemicals, petroleum products (1995)

    Imports—partners: France, Ethiopia, Italy, Saudi Arabia, Thailand (1996)

    Debt—external: $276 million (1996 est.)

    Economic aid—recipient: $106.3 million (1995)

    Currency: 1 Djiboutian franc (DF) = 100 centimes

    Exchange rates: Djiboutian francs (DF) per US$1—177.721 (fixed rate since 1973)

    Fiscal year: calendar year

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