Benin flag Benin: Economic outline

Economic Outline

Economic Indicators

For the latest updates on the key economic responses from governments to address the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, please consult the IMF's policy tracking platform Policy Responses to COVID-19.

Benin’s strong macroeconomic fundamentals have helped the country achieve strong economic growth despite the recent external shocks of the Covid-19 pandemic and the war in Ukraine. After reaching 7.2% in 2021, GDP growth remained resilient in 2022, slowing down to 5.7% (IMF). Economic growth is expected to accelerate to 6.2% in 2023 and 6% in 2024, driven by agroindustry, construction, and port-related activity (IMF). Higher infrastructure spending and a wider regional recovery will support activity (The Economist Intelligence Unit).

In 2022, despite a challenging global and regional context, Benin’s economy remained resilient, supported by
a strong investment push. Investments in the electricity grid and freight transport have driven growth (Coface). In July 2022, a blended 42-month Extended Fund Facility and Extended Credit Facility was approved by the IMF to help Benin address financing needs, support the country’s National Development Plan centered on achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and catalyze donor support (IMF). Reflecting the spillovers of the war in Ukraine, inflation increased from 1.7% in 2021 to 5% in 2022, but remained subdued owing to a strong harvest season and subsidy measures adopted by the government (IMF). Households have benefited from subsidies on agricultural inputs and fuels, as well as from tariff reductions (Coface). According to IMF forecast, inflation is expected to decrease to 1.8% in 2023 and 2% in 2024. Budget deficit decreased only slightly, from -5.7% GDP in 2021 to -5.5% GDP in 2022, as policy remained accommodative to cushion the impact of the repeated shocks (IMF). Consolidation efforts are scheduled to resume in 2023, with a forecast budget balance of -4.3% GDP (IMF). Public debt increased from 49.9% GDP in 2021 to 54.8% GDP in 2022, and it is expected to slowly decrease to 55.6% GDP in 2023 and 54.3% GDP in 2024 (IMF). Public debt is divided equally between multilateral loans, external obligations and domestic obligations and it should stabilise thanks to continued fiscal consolidation and growth (Coface). Around 20% higher than the previous one, the 2023 Budget resumed the consolidation of public finances while allocating substantial resources to critical social and security-related spending. The priorities remain the promotion of high-potential sectors such as agriculture, tourism and digital economy; the development of key transport, energy and sanitation infrastructure; the reduction of poverty and social vulnerability; and fiscal consolidation.

Despite many efforts to reduce it, the poverty rate remains as high as 38.5% according to World Bank data. In 2021, the unemployment rate in the country was estimated at 1.8% (ILO estimate). However, underemployment rate stood at more than 70%, and informal employment rate at more than 90% (World Bank).

 
Main Indicators 20222023 (E)2024 (E)2025 (E)2026 (E)
GDP (billions USD) 17.4419.9421.7923.6325.59
GDP (Constant Prices, Annual % Change) 6.35.56.36.06.0
GDP per Capita (USD) 1,3031,4491,5401,6241,711
General Government Gross Debt (in % of GDP) 54.253.052.451.450.5
Inflation Rate (%) n/a5.02.52.02.0
Current Account (billions USD) -0.98-1.19-1.24-1.22-1.25
Current Account (in % of GDP) -5.6-6.0-5.7-5.2-4.9

Source: IMF – World Economic Outlook Database, 2016

Note: (e) Estimated Data

 
Monetary Indicators 20162017201820192020
CFA Franc BCEAO (XOF) - Average Annual Exchange Rate For 1 GHS 148.62133.80121.14112.69102.86

Source: World Bank, 2015

 

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Latest Update: February 2024