Niger: Economy#

Niger is a landlocked, sub-Saharan nation, whose economy centers on subsistence crops, livestock, and some of the world's largest uranium deposits. Agriculture contributes nearly 40% of GDP and provides livelihood for most of the population. The UN ranked Niger as the least developed country in the world in 2015 due to multiple factors such as food insecurity, lack of industry, high population growth, a weak educational sector, and few prospects for work outside of subsistence farming and herding.

Since 2011 public debt has increased due to efforts to scale-up public investment, particularly that related to infrastructure. The government relies on foreign donor resources for a large portion of its fiscal budget. The economy in recent years has been hurt by terrorist activity and kidnappings near its uranium mines and by instability in Mali and in the Diffa region of the country; concerns about security have resulted in increased support from regional and international partners on defense. Low uranium prices, demographics, and security expenditures may continue to put pressure on the government’s finances.

Future growth may be sustained by exploitation of oil, gold, coal, and other mineral resources. Although Niger has sizable reserves of oil, the profitability of these commodities has been called in to question due to the prolonged drop in oil prices. Food insecurity and drought remain perennial problems for Niger, and the government plans to invest a little more in the agriculture sector, most notably irrigation. Niger’s three-year $131 million IMF Extended Credit Facility agreement for years 2012-15 was extended until the end of 2016, although formal private sector investment needed for economic diversification and growth remains a challenge, given the country’s limited domestic markets, access to credit, and competitiveness.

Economic Facts#

GDP (purchasing power parity)$20.27 billion (2016 est.)
$19.26 billion (2015 est.)
$18.6 billion (2014 est.)
note: data are in 2016 dollars
GDP (official exchange rate)$7.566 billion (2015 est.)
GDP - real growth rate5.2% (2016 est.)
3.5% (2015 est.)
7.1% (2014 est.)
GDP - per capita (PPP)$1,100 (2016 est.)
$1,100 (2015 est.)
$1,100 (2014 est.)
note: data are in 2016 dollars
Gross national saving24.7% of GDP (2016 est.)
24.3% of GDP (2015 est.)
24.2% of GDP (2014 est.)
GDP - composition, by end usehousehold consumption: 66.6%
government consumption: 15.5%
investment in fixed capital: 39.6%
investment in inventories: 0.1%
exports of goods and services: 16.7%
imports of goods and services: -38.5% (2016 est.)
GDP - composition, by sector of originagriculture: 36.5%
industry: 18.5%
services: 45% (2016 est.)
Agriculture - productscowpeas, cotton, peanuts, millet, sorghum, cassava (manioc, tapioca), rice; cattle, sheep, goats, camels, donkeys, horses, poultry
Industriesuranium mining, petroleum, cement, brick, soap, textiles, food processing, chemicals, slaughterhouses
Industrial production growth rate4.8% (2016 est.)
Labor force6.5 million (2016 est.)
Labor force - by occupationagriculture: 90%
industry: 6%
services: 4% (1995)
Unemployment rate5.1% (2015 est.)
5.1% (2014 est.)
Population below poverty line63% (1993 est.)
Household income or consumption by percentage sharelowest 10%: 3.7%
highest 10%: 28.5% (2007)
Distribution of family income - Gini index34 (2007)
50.5 (1995)
Budgetrevenues: $1.715 billion
expenditures: $2.25 billion (2016 est.)
Taxes and other revenues22.7% of GDP (2016 est.)
Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-)-7.1% of GDP (2016 est.)
Fiscal yearcalendar year
Inflation rate (consumer prices)1.1% (2016 est.)
1% (2015 est.)
Central bank discount rate4.25% (31 December 2009)
4.75% (31 December 2008)
Commercial bank prime lending rate3.5% (31 December 2016 est.)
3.5% (31 December 2015 est.)
Stock of narrow money$1.553 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$1.508 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
Stock of broad money$2.027 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
$2.047 billion (31 December 2014 est.)
Stock of domestic credit$1.155 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$1.145 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
Market value of publicly traded shares$NA
Current account balance-$1.35 billion (2016 est.)
-$1.237 billion (2015 est.)
Exports$1.1 billion (2016 est.)
$1.099 billion (2015 est.)
Exports - commoditiesuranium ore, livestock, cowpeas, onions
Exports - partnersFrance 53.1%, Nigeria 20.3%, China 13.8% (2015)
Imports$1.916 billion (2016 est.)
$1.888 billion (2015 est.)
Imports - commoditiesfoodstuffs, machinery, vehicles and parts, petroleum, cereals
Imports - partnersFrance 12%, China 10.5%, Nigeria 9.5%, French Polynesia 9%, Togo 6.1%, Belgium 5.3%, Cote dIvoire 5.3%, US 4.3% (2015)
Debt - external$2.729 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$2.611 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
Exchange ratesCommunaute Financiere Africaine francs (XOF) per US dollar -
605.7 (2016 est.)
591.45 (2015 est.)
591.45 (2014 est.)
494.42 (2013 est.)
510.53 (2012 est.)