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Comoros: Economy#

One of the world's poorest countries, Comoros is made up of three islands that are hampered by inadequate transportation links, a young and rapidly increasing population, and few natural resources. The low educational level of the labor force contributes to a subsistence level of economic activity and a heavy dependence on foreign grants and technical assistance. Agriculture, including fishing, hunting, and forestry, accounts for 50% of GDP, employs 80% of the labor force, and provides most of the exports. Export income is heavily reliant on the three main crops of vanilla, cloves, and ylang-ylang; and Comoros' export earnings are easily disrupted by disasters such as fires and extreme weather. Despite agriculture’s importance to the economy, the country imports roughly 70% of its food; rice, the main staple, accounts for the bulk of imports.

Authorities are negotiating with the IMF for triennial program assistance. The government - which is racked by internal political disputes - is struggling to provide basic services, upgrade education and technical training, privatize commercial and industrial enterprises, improve health services, diversify exports, promote tourism, and reduce the high population growth rate. Recurring political instability, sometimes initiated from outside the country, has inhibited growth. Remittances from about 200,000 Comorans contribute about 25% of the country’s GDP. In December 2012, IMF and the World Bank's International Development Association supported $176 million in debt relief for Comoros, resulting in a 59% reduction of its future external debt service over a period of 40 years. In late 2013, a US-based investment company invested $200 million in a project to explore for hydrocarbons in Comoran territorial waters, the largest financial investment in the country’s history.

Economic Facts#

GDP (purchasing power parity)$1.259 billion (2016 est.)
$1.232 billion (2015 est.)
$1.22 billion (2014 est.)
note: data are in 2016 dollars
GDP (official exchange rate)$622 million (2015 est.)
GDP - real growth rate2.2% (2016 est.)
1% (2015 est.)
2% (2014 est.)
GDP - per capita (PPP)$1,500 (2016 est.)
$1,500 (2015 est.)
$1,600 (2014 est.)
note: data are in 2016 dollars
Gross national saving11.9% of GDP (2016 est.)
19.2% of GDP (2015 est.)
12.8% of GDP (2014 est.)
GDP - composition, by end usehousehold consumption: 104.9%
government consumption: 19.2%
investment in fixed capital: 11.2%
investment in inventories: 10.3%
exports of goods and services: 19.4%
imports of goods and services: -65% (2016 est.)
GDP - composition, by sector of originagriculture: 50%
industry: 12.1%
services: 37.9% (2016 est.)
Agriculture - productsvanilla, cloves, ylang-ylang (perfume essence), coconuts, bananas, cassava (manioc)
Industriesfishing, tourism, perfume distillation
Industrial production growth rate0.5% (2016 est.)
Labor force245,200 (2013 est.)
Labor force - by occupationagriculture: 80%
industry and services: 20% (1996 est.)
Unemployment rate6.5% (2014 est.)
Population below poverty line44.8% (2004 est.)
Household income or consumption by percentage sharelowest 10%: 0.9%
highest 10%: 55.2% (2004)
Budgetrevenues: $165 million
expenditures: $185.5 million (2016 est.)
Taxes and other revenues26.5% of GDP (2016 est.)
Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-)-3.3% of GDP (2016 est.)
Fiscal yearcalendar year
Inflation rate (consumer prices)1.2% (2016 est.)
1.3% (2015 est.)
Central bank discount rate1.93% (31 December 2010)
2.21% (31 December 2009)
Commercial bank prime lending rate10.5% (31 December 2016 est.)
10.5% (31 December 2015 est.)
Stock of narrow money$201.8 million (31 December 2016 est.)
$169 million (31 December 2015 est.)
Stock of broad money$303 million (31 December 2016 est.)
$251.7 million (31 December 2015 est.)
Stock of domestic credit$180.1 million (31 December 2016 est.)
$142.4 million (31 December 2015 est.)
Current account balance-$56 million (2016 est.)
$5 million (2015 est.)
Exports$19.2 million (2016 est.)
$18.9 million (2015 est.)
Exports - commoditiesvanilla, ylang-ylang (perfume essence), cloves
Exports - partnersIndia 28.7%, France 17%, Germany 8.7%, Saudi Arabia 7.1%, Singapore 6.6%, Netherlands 6.1%, Mauritius 5.3% (2015)
Imports$191.2 million (2016 est.)
$195.9 million (2015 est.)
Imports - commoditiesrice and other foodstuffs, consumer goods, petroleum products, cement and construction materials, transport equipment
Imports - partnersChina 18.9%, Pakistan 16.2%, France 14.7%, UAE 11.3%, India 6.3% (2015)
Debt - external$133.3 million (31 December 2016 est.)
$132.8 million (31 December 2015 est.)
Exchange ratesComoran francs (KMF) per US dollar -
449.1 (2016 est.)
443.6 (2015 est.)
443.6 (2014 est.)
370.81 (2013 est.)
382.9 (2012 est.)