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Mauritania: Economy#

Mauritania's economy is dominated by natural resources and agriculture. 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's extensive mineral resources include iron ore, gold, copper, gypsum, and phosphate rock and exploration is ongoing for uranium, crude oil, and natural gas. Extractive commodities make up 75% of Mauritania's total exports. The nation's coastal waters are among the richest fishing areas in the world, and fishing accounts for 20% of budget revenues, but overexploitation by foreigners threatens this key source of revenue. Risks to Mauritania's economy include its recurring exposure to droughts, dependence on foreign aid and investment, and insecurity in neighboring Mali, as well as significant shortages of infrastructure, institutional capacity, and human capital.

Economic Facts#

GDP (purchasing power parity)$8.204 billion (2013 est.)
$7.708 billion (2012 est.)
$7.212 billion (2011 est.)
note: data are in 2013 US dollars
GDP - real growth rate6.4% (2013 est.)
6.9% (2012 est.)
3.6% (2011 est.)
GDP - per capita (PPP)$2,200 (2013 est.)
$2,100 (2012 est.)
$2,000 (2011 est.)
note: data are in 2013 US dollars
GDP - composition, by sector of originagriculture: 16.9%
industry: 54.6%
services: 28.5% (2013 est.)
Population below poverty line40% (2004 est.)
Household income or consumption by percentage sharelowest 10%: 2.5%
highest 10%: 29.5% (2000)
Labor force - by occupationagriculture: 50%
industry: 2%
services: 48% (2001 est.)
Exports - commoditiesiron ore, fish and fish products, gold, copper, petroleum
Exports - partnersChina 50.5%, Italy 7.8%, Japan 7.3%, France 4.9%, Spain 4.2%, Cote dIvoire 4.1%, Netherlands 4% (2012)
Agriculture - productsdates, millet, sorghum, rice, corn; cattle, sheep
Budgetrevenues: $1.677 billion
expenditures: $1.702 billion (2013 est.)
Imports - commoditiesmachinery and equipment, petroleum products, capital goods, foodstuffs, consumer goods
Imports - partnersChina 12.9%, Netherlands 10.5%, US 7.8%, France 7.8%, Brazil 5.6%, Germany 5.5%, Spain 5.1%, Belgium 4.7% (2012)
Exchange ratesouguiyas (MRO) per US dollar -
298.1 (2013 est.)
296.6 (2012 est.)
275.89 (2010 est.)
262.4 (2009)
238.2 (2008)
Exports$2.728 billion (2013 est.)
$2.642 billion (2012 est.)
Debt - external$3.233 billion (31 December 2013 est.)
$2.922 billion (31 December 2012 est.)
Fiscal yearcalendar year
Imports$3.355 billion (2013 est.)
$3.176 billion (2012 est.)
Industrial production growth rate8% (2013 est.)
Industriesfish processing, oil production, mining (iron ore, gold, copper)
note: gypsum deposits have never been exploited
Inflation rate (consumer prices)4.6% (2013 est.)
4.9% (2012 est.)
Labor force1.318 million (2007)
Unemployment rate30% (2008 est.)
20% (2004 est.)
Distribution of family income - Gini index39 (2000)
37.3 (1995)
Current account balance-$1.24 billion (2013 est.)
-$1.263 billion (2012 est.)
GDP (official exchange rate)$4.183 billion (2013 est.)
Market value of publicly traded shares$NA
Central bank discount rate9% (31 December 2009 est.)
12% (31 December 2007)
Commercial bank prime lending rate18% (31 December 2013 est.)
17% (31 December 2012 est.)
Stock of domestic credit$1.739 billion (31 December 2013 est.)
$1.514 billion (31 December 2012 est.)
Taxes and other revenues40.1% of GDP (2013 est.)
Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-)-0.6% of GDP (2013 est.)
GDP - composition, by end usehousehold consumption: 52.4%
government consumption: 22.7%
investment in fixed capital: 61.9%
investment in inventories: -8.9%
exports of goods and services: 56.8%
imports of goods and services: -84.9%
(2013 est.)
Gross national saving27.4% of GDP (2013 est.)
26.2% of GDP (2012 est.)
39.3% of GDP (2011 est.)