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New Caledonia: Economy#

New Caledonia has about 25% of the world's known nickel reserves. Only a small amount of the land is suitable for cultivation, and food accounts for about 20% of imports. In addition to nickel, substantial financial support from France - equal to more than 15% of GDP - and tourism are keys to the health of the economy.

During 2009-10, France sent more development assistance to New Caledonia than to any of its other overseas territories. In October 2014, French Prime Minster Manuel VALLS confirmed financial support to New Caledonia totaling $500 million for the period 2016-20. The new government, which inherited a $112 million deficit in 2013, is expected to focus on bringing the territory’s budget back into balance.

Substantial new investment in the nickel industry — including two major new plants - combined with the recovery of global nickel prices, has brightened the economic outlook for the next several years. In 2015, New Caledonia helped fill China’s shortfall in nickel supplies left by an Indonesian ban on nickel ore exports.

Economic Facts#

GDP (purchasing power parity)$11.1 billion (2014 est.)
$10.8 billion (2013 est.)
$10.57 billion (2012)
GDP (official exchange rate)$11.1 billion (2014 est.)
GDP - real growth rate2.8% (2014 est.)
2.2% (2013)
2.9% (2012)
GDP - per capita (PPP)$38,800 (2012 est.)
$36,500 (2010 est.)
$27,300 (2005)
GDP - composition, by end usehousehold consumption: 63.2%
government consumption: 24.1%
investment in fixed capital: 40.5%
investment in inventories: 0%
exports of goods and services: 20%
imports of goods and services: -47.8% (2016 est.)
GDP - composition, by sector of originagriculture: 1.5%
industry: 25.1%
services: 73.4% (2016 est.)
Agriculture - productsvegetables; beef, venison, other livestock products; fish
Industriesnickel mining and smelting
Industrial production growth rate1.6% (2016 est.)
Labor force106,400 (2010 est.)
Labor force - by occupationagriculture: 2.7%
industry: 22.4%
services: 74.9% (2010)
Unemployment rate17.1% (2004)
Population below poverty lineNA%
Household income or consumption by percentage sharelowest 10%: NA%
highest 10%: NA%
Budgetrevenues: $996 million
expenditures: $1.072 billion (2001 est.)
Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-)NA% of GDP
Fiscal yearcalendar year
Inflation rate (consumer prices)1% (2016 est.)
0.6% (2015 est.)
Market value of publicly traded shares$NA
Exports$1.565 billion (2014 est.)
$1.565 billion (2014 est.)
Exports - commoditiesferronickels, nickel ore, fish
Exports - partnersChina 31.8%, Japan 15.2%, South Korea 10.7%, Australia 8.1%, France 7.4%, Belgium 5.1% (2015)
Imports$3.323 billion (2014 est.)
$3.323 billion (2014 est.)
Imports - commoditiesmachinery and equipment, fuels, chemicals, foodstuffs
Imports - partnersFrance 35.1%, Australia 11.3%, South Korea 8.5%, Singapore 5.4%, Malaysia 5.3%, China 4.5%, NZ 4.1% (2015)
Debt - external$112 million (31 December 2013 est.)
$79 million (31 December 1998 est.)
Exchange ratesComptoirs Francais du Pacifique francs (XPF) per US dollar -
107.54 (2015 est.)
89.8 (2014 est.)