Swaziland: Economy#

Surrounded by South Africa, except for a short border with Mozambique, Swaziland depends heavily on South Africa from which it receives more than 90% of its imports and to which it sends 60% of its exports. Swaziland's currency is pegged to the South African rand, effectively subsuming Swaziland's monetary policy to South Africa. The government is heavily dependent on customs duties from the Southern African Customs Union (SACU), and worker remittances from South Africa supplement domestically earned income. Subsistence agriculture employs approximately 70% of the population. The manufacturing sector has diversified since the mid-1980s. Sugar and wood pulp were major foreign exchange earners; however, the wood pulp producer closed in January 2010, and sugar is now the main export earner. Mining has declined in importance in recent years with only coal and quarry stone mines remaining active. Customs revenues plummeted due to the global economic crisis and a drop in South African imports. The resulting decline in revenue has pushed the country into a fiscal crisis. Swaziland is looking to other countries, including South Africa, for assistance, but continues to struggle to meet its monthly payroll and fund government programs. With an estimated 40% unemployment rate, Swaziland's need to increase the number and size of small and medium enterprises and attract foreign direct investment is acute. Overgrazing, soil depletion, drought, and floods persist as problems for the future. More than one-fourth of the population needed emergency food aid in 2006-07 because of drought, and more than one-quarter of the adult population has been infected by HIV/AIDS, as of 2013.

Economic Facts#

GDP (purchasing power parity)$6.259 billion (2013 est.)
$6.259 billion (2012 est.)
$6.354 billion (2011 est.)
note: data are in 2013 US dollars
GDP - real growth rate0% (2013 est.)
-1.5% (2012 est.)
0.3% (2011 est.)
GDP - per capita (PPP)$5,700 (2013 est.)
$5,800 (2012 est.)
$6,000 (2011 est.)
note: data are in 2013 US dollars
GDP - composition, by sector of originagriculture: 7.6%
industry: 47.8%
services: 44.6% (2013 est.)
Population below poverty line69% (2006)
Household income or consumption by percentage sharelowest 10%: 1.7%
highest 10%: 40.1% (2010 est.)
Labor force - by occupationagriculture: 70%
industry: NA%
services: NA%
Exports - commoditiessoft drink concentrates, sugar, wood pulp, cotton yarn, refrigerators, citrus and canned fruit
Agriculture - productssugarcane, cotton, corn, tobacco, rice, citrus, pineapples, sorghum, peanuts; cattle, goats, sheep
Budgetrevenues: $1.274 billion
expenditures: $1.316 billion (2013 est.)
Imports - commoditiesmotor vehicles, machinery, transport equipment, foodstuffs, petroleum products, chemicals
Exchange ratesemalangeni per US dollar -
9.575 (2013 est.)
8.2031 (2012 est.)
7.3212 (2010 est.)
8.42 (2009)
7.75 (2008)
Exports$1.603 billion (2013 est.)
$1.681 billion (2012 est.)
Debt - external$609.5 million (31 December 2013 est.)
$604.8 million (31 December 2012 est.)
Fiscal year1 April - 31 March
Imports$1.545 billion (2013 est.)
$1.578 billion (2012 est.)
Industrial production growth rate0.4% (2013 est.)
Industriescoal, wood pulp, sugar, soft drink concentrates, textiles and apparel
Inflation rate (consumer prices)6.1% (2013 est.)
8.9% (2012 est.)
Labor force424,100 (2011 est.)
Unemployment rate40% (2006 est.)
Distribution of family income - Gini index50.4 (2001)
Current account balance-$1.5 million (2013 est.)
$53 million (2012 est.)
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold$801.4 million (31 December 2013 est.)
$741 million (31 December 2012 est.)
GDP (official exchange rate)$3.807 billion (2013 est.)
Stock of direct foreign investment - at home$NA
Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad$NA
Market value of publicly traded shares$203.1 million (31 December 2007)
$203.1 million (31 December 2007)
$199.9 million
Central bank discount rate6.5% (31 December 2010 est.)
6.5% (31 December 2009 est.)
Commercial bank prime lending rate8.5% (31 December 2013 est.)
8.75% (31 December 2012 est.)
Stock of domestic credit$763.3 million (31 December 2013 est.)
$762.9 million (31 December 2012 est.)
Stock of narrow money$421.6 million (31 December 2013 est.)
$403.3 million (31 December 2012 est.)
Stock of broad money$1.142 billion (31 December 2013 est.)
$1.138 billion (31 December 2012 est.)
Taxes and other revenues33.5% of GDP (2013 est.)
Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-)-1.1% of GDP (2013 est.)
GDP - composition, by end usehousehold consumption: 86.2%
government consumption: 21.5%
investment in fixed capital: 10.1%
investment in inventories: 0%
exports of goods and services: 57.4%
imports of goods and services: -75.3%
(2013 est.)
Gross national saving10.1% of GDP (2013 est.)
13.4% of GDP (2012 est.)
4.5% of GDP (2011 est.)