Zaire

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Zaire's economy has continued to disintegrate. While meaningful economic figures are difficult to come by, Zaire's hyperinflation, the largest government deficit ever, and plunging mineral production have made the country one of the world's poorest. Most formal transactions are conducted in hard currency as indigenous banknotes have lost almost all value, and a barter economy now flourishes in all but the largest cities. Most individuals and families hang on grimly through subsistence farming and petty trade. The government has not been able to meet its financial obligations to the International Momentary Fund or put in place the financial measures advocated by the IMF. Although short-term prospects for improvement are dim, improved political stability would boost Zaire's long-term potential to effectively exploit its vast wealth of mineral and agricultural resources. National product: GDP - purchasing power equivalent - $21 billion (1993 est.) National product real growth rate: -6% (1992 est.) National product per capita: $500 (1993 est.) Inflation rate (consumer prices): 35%-40% per month (1992 est.) Unemployment rate: NA% Budget: revenues: $NA expenditures: $NA, including capital expenditures of $NA Exports: $1.5 billion (f.o.b., 1992 est.) commodities: copper, coffee, diamonds, cobalt, crude oil partners: US, Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, UK, Japan, South Africa Imports: $1.2 billion (f.o.b., 1992 est.) commodities: consumer goods, foodstuffs, mining and other machinery, transport equipment, fuels partners: South Africa, US, Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, UK External debt: $9.2 billion (May 1992 est.) Industrial production: growth rate NA% Electricity: capacity: 2,580,000 kW production: 6 billion kWh consumption per capita: 160 kWh (1991) Industries: mining, mineral processing, consumer products (including textiles, footwear, and cigarettes), processed foods and beverages, cement, diamonds Agriculture: cash crops - coffee, palm oil, rubber, quinine; food crops - cassava, bananas, root crops, corn Illicit drugs: illicit producer of cannabis, mostly for domestic consumption Economic aid: recipient: US commitments, including Ex-Im (FY70-89), $1.1 billion; Western (non-US) countries, ODA and OOF bilateral commitments (1970-89), $6.9 billion; OPEC bilateral aid (1979-89), $35 million; Communist countries (1970-89), $263 million note: except for humanitarian aid to private organizations, no US assistance was given to Zaire in 1992 Currency: 1 zaire (Z) = 100 makuta Exchange rates: zaire (Z) per US$1 - 7,915,000 (September 1993), 1,990,000 (1992), 15,587 (1991), 719 (1990), 381 (1989) Fiscal year: calendar year

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