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Mauritania Economy 2006

Economy - overview: Half the population still depends on agriculture and livestock for a livelihood, even though many of the nomads and 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 nearly 40% 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 the past, drought and economic mismanagement resulted in a buildup of foreign debt which now stands at more than three times the level of annual exports. In February 2000, Mauritania qualified for debt relief under the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) initiative and in December 2001 received strong support from donor and lending countries at a triennial Consultative Group review. A new investment code approved in December 2001 improved the opportunities for direct foreign investment. Ongoing negotiations with the IMF involve problems of economic reforms and fiscal discipline. In 2001, exploratory oil wells in tracts 80 km offshore indicated potential extraction at current world oil prices. Mauritania has an estimated 1 billion barrels of proved reserves. Substantial oil production and exports are scheduled to begin in early 2006 and may average 75,000 barrels per day for that year. Meantime the government emphasizes reduction of poverty, improvement of health and education, and promoting privatization of the economy.
GDP (purchasing power parity): $6.901 billion (2005 est.)
GDP (official exchange rate): $1.346 billion (2005 est.)
GDP - real growth rate: 5.5% (2005 est.)
GDP - per capita (PPP): $2,200 (2005 est.)
GDP - composition by sector: agriculture: 25% industry: 29% services: 46% (2001 est.)
Labor force: 786,000 (2001)
Labor force - by occupation: agriculture: 50% industry: 10% services: 40% (2001 est.)
Unemployment rate: 20% (2004 est.)
Population below poverty line: 40% (2004 est.)
Household income or consumption by percentage share: lowest 10%: 2.5% highest 10%: 30.2% (2000)
Distribution of family income - Gini index: 39 (2000)
Inflation rate (consumer prices): 7% (2003 est.)
Budget: revenues: $421 million expenditures: $378 million; including capital expenditures of $154 million (2002 est.)
Agriculture - products: dates, millet, sorghum, rice, corn; cattle, sheep
Industries: fish processing, mining of iron ore and gypsum
Industrial production growth rate: 2% (2000 est.)
Electricity - production: 185.6 million kWh (2003)
Electricity - consumption: 172.6 million kWh (2003)
Electricity - exports: 0 kWh (2003)
Electricity - imports: 0 kWh (2003)
Oil - production: 0 bbl/day (2005 est.)
Oil - consumption: 24,000 bbl/day (2003 est.)
Oil - exports: NA bbl/day
Oil - imports: NA bbl/day
Oil - proved reserves: 1 billion bbl (2005)
Natural gas - production: 0 cu m (2003 est.)
Natural gas - consumption: 0 cu m (2003 est.)
Natural gas - proved reserves: 0 cu m (2005)
Exports: $784 million f.o.b. (2004 est.)
Exports - commodities: iron ore, fish and fish products, gold
Exports - partners: Italy 14.9%, Japan 12.3%, France 11.8%, Belgium 8.5%, Germany 8.3%, Cote d'Ivoire 7.2%, Spain 6.5%, Russia 5%, Netherlands 4.4% (2005)
Imports: $1.124 billion f.o.b. (2004 est.)
Imports - commodities: machinery and equipment, petroleum products, capital goods, foodstuffs, consumer goods
Imports - partners: France 18.5%, UK 7.2%, US 7%, China 6%, Spain 5%, Belgium 4.3% (2005)
Debt - external: $2.5 billion (2000)
Economic aid - recipient: $305.7 million (2002)
Currency (code): ouguiya (MRO)
Exchange rates: ouguiyas per US dollar - NA (2005), NA (2004), 263.03 (2003), 271.74 (2002), 255.63 (2001)
Fiscal year: calendar year

NOTE: The economy information regarding Mauritania on this page is re-published from the 2006 World Fact Book of the United States Central Intelligence Agency. No claims are made regarding the accuracy of Mauritania Economy 2006 information contained here. All suggestions for corrections of any errors about Mauritania Economy 2006 should be addressed to the CIA.