Democratic Republic of the Congo: Economy#

The economy of the Democratic Republic of the Congo - a nation endowed with vast natural resource wealth - is slowly recovering after decades of decline.

Systemic corruption since independence in 1960, combined with countrywide instability and conflict that began in the early-90s, has dramatically reduced national output and government revenue and increased external debt. With the installation of a transitional government in 2003 after peace accords, economic conditions slowly began to improve as the transitional government reopened relations with international financial institutions and international donors, and President KABILA began implementing reforms. Progress has been slow to reach the interior of the country although clear changes are evident in Kinshasa and Lubumbashi.

Renewed activity in the mining sector, the source of most export income, has boosted Kinshasa's fiscal position and GDP growth in recent years, although recent commodity price declines threaten to erase progress. An uncertain legal framework, corruption, and a lack of transparency in government policy are long-term problems for the large mining sector and for the economy as a whole.

The country marked its thirteenth consecutive year of positive economic expansion in 2015. Much economic activity still occurs in the informal sector and is not reflected in GDP data. The DRC signed a Poverty Reduction and Growth Facility with the IMF in 2009 and received $12 billion in multilateral and bilateral debt relief in 2010, but the IMF at the end of 2012 suspended the last three payments under the loan facility - worth $240 million - because of concerns about the lack of transparency in mining contracts. In 2012, the DRC updated its business laws by adhering to OHADA, the Organization for the Harmonization of Business Law in Africa.

Economic Facts#

GDP (purchasing power parity)$66.01 billion (2016 est.)
$63.51 billion (2015 est.)
$59.4 billion (2014 est.)
note: data are in 2016 dollars
GDP (official exchange rate)$39.82 billion (2015 est.)
GDP - real growth rate3.9% (2016 est.)
6.9% (2015 est.)
9.5% (2014 est.)
GDP - per capita (PPP)$800 (2016 est.)
$800 (2015 est.)
$700 (2014 est.)
note: data are in 2016 dollars
Gross national saving14.2% of GDP (2016 est.)
15.4% of GDP (2015 est.)
27.1% of GDP (2014 est.)
GDP - composition, by end usehousehold consumption: 73.6%
government consumption: 13.9%
investment in fixed capital: 21%
investment in inventories: 0.1%
exports of goods and services: 23.7%
imports of goods and services: -32.3% (2016 est.)
GDP - composition, by sector of originagriculture: 20.1%
industry: 31.7%
services: 48.1% (2016 est.)
Agriculture - productscoffee, sugar, palm oil, rubber, tea, cotton, cocoa, quinine, cassava (manioc, tapioca), bananas, plantains, peanuts, root crops, corn, fruits; wood products
Industriesmining (copper, cobalt, gold, diamonds, coltan, zinc, tin, tungsten), mineral processing, consumer products (textiles, plastics, footwear, cigarettes), metal products, processed foods and beverages, timber, cement, commercial ship repair
Industrial production growth rate1.2% (2016 est.)
Labor force31.08 million (2016 est.)
Labor force - by occupationagriculture: NA%
industry: NA%
services: NA%
Unemployment rateNA%
Population below poverty line63% (2012 est.)
Household income or consumption by percentage sharelowest 10%: 2.3%
highest 10%: 34.7% (2006)
Budgetrevenues: $5.448 billion
expenditures: $5.837 billion (2016 est.)
Taxes and other revenues13.7% of GDP (2016 est.)
Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-)-1% of GDP (2016 est.)
Public debt18.2% of GDP (2016 est.)
17.6% of GDP (2015 est.)
Fiscal yearcalendar year
Inflation rate (consumer prices)1.6% (2016 est.)
1.2% (2015 est.)
Central bank discount rate4% (31 December 2012)
20% (31 December 2011)
Commercial bank prime lending rate19.5% (31 December 2016 est.)
19.37% (31 December 2015 est.)
Stock of narrow money$1.212 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$1.213 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
Stock of broad money$5.018 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
$4.402 billion (31 December 2014 est.)
Stock of domestic credit$3.701 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$3.381 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
Market value of publicly traded shares$NA
Current account balance-$308 million (2016 est.)
-$1.436 billion (2015 est.)
Exports$9.316 billion (2016 est.)
$10.35 billion (2015 est.)
Exports - commoditiesdiamonds, copper, gold, cobalt, wood products, crude oil, coffee
Exports - partnersChina 43.5%, Zambia 25%, South Korea 4.9%, Belgium 4.8% (2015)
Imports$10.2 billion (2016 est.)
$10.46 billion (2015 est.)
Imports - commoditiesfoodstuffs, mining and other machinery, transport equipment, fuels
Imports - partnersChina 20.6%, South Africa 17.7%, Zambia 12.3%, Belgium 6.9%, Zimbabwe 5.1%, India 4.7% (2015)
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold$774 million (31 December 2016 est.)
$1.216 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
Debt - external$5.331 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$5.106 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
Exchange ratesCongolese francs (CDF) per US dollar -
971.6 (2016 est.)
925.99 (2015 est.)
925.99 (2014 est.)
925.23 (2013 est.)
920.25 (2012 est.)