Sao Tome and Principe

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Sao Tome and Principe Economy 2008

Economy - overview: This small, poor island economy has become increasingly dependent on cocoa since independence in 1975. Cocoa production has substantially declined in recent years because of drought and mismanagement. Sao Tome has to import all fuels, most manufactured goods, consumer goods, and a substantial amount of food. Over the years, it has had difficulty servicing its external debt and has relied heavily on concessional aid and debt rescheduling. Sao Tome benefited from $200 million in debt relief in December 2000 under the Highly Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) program, which helped bring down the country's $300 million debt burden. In August 2005, Sao Tome signed on to a new 3-year IMF Poverty Reduction and Growth Facility (PRGF) program worth $4.3 million. Considerable potential exists for development of a tourist industry, and the government has taken steps to expand facilities in recent years. The government also has attempted to reduce price controls and subsidies. Sao Tome is optimistic about the development of petroleum resources in its territorial waters in the oil-rich Gulf of Guinea, which are being jointly developed in a 60-40 split with Nigeria. The first production licenses were sold in 2004, though a dispute over licensing with Nigeria delayed Sao Tome's receipt of more than $20 million in signing bonuses for almost a year. Real GDP growth exceeded 6% in 2007, as a result of increases in public expenditures and oil-related capital investment.
GDP (purchasing power parity): $256 million (2007 est.)
GDP (official exchange rate): $144 million (2007 est.)
GDP - real growth rate: 6% (2007 est.)
GDP - per capita (PPP): $1,600 (2007 est.)
GDP - composition by sector: agriculture: 14.9% industry: 14% services: 71% (2007 est.)
Labor force: 35,050 (1991)
Labor force - by occupation: note: population mainly engaged in subsistence agriculture and fishing; shortages of skilled workers
Unemployment rate: NA%
Household income or consumption by percentage share: lowest 10%: NA% highest 10%: NA%
Investment (gross fixed): 36.9% of GDP (2007 est.)
Budget: revenues: $63.21 million expenditures: $54.94 million (2007 est.)
Inflation rate (consumer prices): 18% (2007 est.)
Central bank discount rate: 28% (31 December 2007)
Commercial bank prime lending rate: 32.4% (31 December 2007)
Stock of money: $19.99 million (31 December 2007)
Stock of quasi money: $33.5 million (31 December 2007)
Stock of domestic credit: $31.84 million (31 December 2007)
Agriculture - products: cocoa, coconuts, palm kernels, copra, cinnamon, pepper, coffee, bananas, papayas, beans; poultry; fish
Industries: light construction, textiles, soap, beer, fish processing, timber
Industrial production growth rate: 7% (2007 est.)
Electricity - production: 18 million kWh (2006 est.)
Electricity - consumption: 16.74 million kWh (2006 est.)
Electricity - exports: 0 kWh (2007)
Electricity - imports: 0 kWh (2007 est.)
Oil - production: 0 bbl/day (2007 est.)
Oil - consumption: 660 bbl/day (2006 est.)
Oil - exports: 0 bbl/day (2005)
Oil - imports: 659.5 bbl/day (2005)
Oil - proved reserves: 0 bbl (1 January 2006 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: 0 cu m (1 January 2006 est.)
Current account balance: -$55 million (2007 est.)
Exports: $9 million f.o.b. (2007 est.)
Exports - commodities: cocoa 80%, copra, coffee, palm oil
Exports - partners: Netherlands 23.7%, Belgium 23.7%, France 12.9%, US 5.9%, Portugal 4.1% (2007)
Imports: $66 million f.o.b. (2007 est.)
Imports - commodities: machinery and electrical equipment, food products, petroleum products
Imports - partners: Portugal 62.2%, US 11.6%, Gabon 4.5% (2007)
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold: $34.6 million (31 December 2007 est.)
Debt - external: $318 million (2002)
Market value of publicly traded shares: $NA
Currency (code): dobra (STD)
Exchange rates: dobras (STD) per US dollar - 13,700 (2007), 12,050 (2006), 9,900.4 (2005), 9,902.3 (2004), 9,347.6 (2003)

NOTE: The economy information regarding Sao Tome and Principe on this page is re-published from the 2008 World Fact Book of the United States Central Intelligence Agency. No claims are made regarding the accuracy of Sao Tome and Principe Economy 2008 information contained here. All suggestions for corrections of any errors about Sao Tome and Principe Economy 2008 should be addressed to the CIA.