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Mauritania Economy: from the All Country Info reference guide to country facts

Mauritania Economy

Mauritania Economy: A summary of information about Mauritania Economy, from government research data as well as independent research and other sources.

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Mauritania: Economy

Economy - overview
A majority of the population still depends on
agriculture and livestock for a livelihood, even though most of the
nomads and many subsistence farmers were forced into the cities by
recurrent droughts in the 1970s and 1980s. Mauritania has extensive
deposits of iron ore, which account for almost 50% of total exports.
The decline in world demand for this ore, however, has led to cutbacks
in production. The nation's coastal waters are among the richest
fishing areas in the world, but overexploitation by foreigners
threatens this key source of revenue. The country's first deepwater
port opened near Nouakchott in 1986. In recent years, drought and
economic mismanagement have resulted in a buildup of foreign debt. In
March 1999, the government signed an agreement with a joint World
Bank-IMF mission on a $54 million enhanced structural adjustment
facility (ESAF). The economic objectives have been set for 1999-2002.
Privatization remains one of the key issues. Mauritania is unlikely to
meet ESAF's annual GDP growth objectives of 4%-5%.
GDP
purchasing power parity - $4.9 billion (1999 est.)
GDP - real growth rate
3.7% (1999 est.)
GDP - per capita
purchasing power parity - $1,910 (1999 est.)
GDP - composition by sector
agriculture: 25%
industry: 31%
services: 44% (1997)
Population below poverty line
57% (1990 est.)
Household income or consumption by percentage share
lowest 10%: 0.7%
highest 10%: 30.4% (1988)
Inflation rate (consumer prices)
9.8% (1998)
Labor force
465,000 (1981 est.); 45,000 wage earners (1980)
Labor force - by occupation
agriculture 47%, services 39%, industry
14%
Unemployment rate
23% (1995 est.)
Budget
revenues: $329 million
expenditures: $265 million, including capital expenditures of $75
million (1996 est.)
Industries
fish processing, mining of iron ore and gypsum
Industrial production growth rate
7.2% (1994)
Electricity - production
152 million kWh (1998)
Electricity - production by source
fossil fuel: 80.26%
hydro: 19.74%
nuclear: 0%
other: 0% (1998)
Electricity - consumption
141 million kWh (1998)
Electricity - exports
0 kWh (1998)
Electricity - imports
0 kWh (1998)
Agriculture - products
dates, millet, sorghum, root crops; cattle,
sheep; fish products
Exports
$425 million (f.o.b., 1997)
Exports - commodities
fish and fish products, iron ore, gold
Exports - partners
Japan 24%, Italy 17%, France 14%, Spain 8% (1997)
Imports
$444 million (f.o.b., 1997)
Imports - commodities
machinery and equipment, petroleum products,
capital goods, foodstuffs, consumer goods
Imports - partners
France 26%, Spain 8%, Germany 7%, Benelux 7%
(1997)
Debt - external
$2.5 billion (1997)
Economic aid - recipient
$227.9 million (1995)
Currency
1 ouguiya (UM) = 5 khoums
Exchange rates
ouguiyas (UM) per US$1 - 219.560 (December 1999),
209.514 (1999), 188.476 (1998), 151.853 (1997), 137.222 (1996),
129.768 (1995)
Fiscal year
calendar year
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