Congo flag Congo: Economic outline

Economic Outline

Economic Indicators

Heavily reliant on oil revenues, the Republic of Congo's economy has been significantly affected by fluctuations in global oil prices since 2015. The country experienced a major economic and financial crisis due to the decline in international oil prices, leading to a substantial drop in export revenues. Following two years of recession, slight growth resumed in 2018 and 2019. However, the COVID-19 pandemic caused another recession of 8.1% in 2020. Subsequently, the economy began to recover, with growth rates of 1.5% in 2021 and 1.7% in 2022. According to the IMF, growth in the Republic of Congo was estimated to reach 4% in 2023, driven by growth in both the oil GDP (4.4%) and the non-oil sector (3.9%). Further growth is anticipated in 2024, with a projected rate of 4.4%, primarily due to increased oil production exports (6.5%) and expansion in the non-oil sector (4%).

The budget bill for 2024 outlines budgetary resources of XOF 2,605.7 billion and expenditures of XOF 2,069.7 billion, resulting in an overall budget balance of XOF 536.0 billion. However, the projected cash flow shortfall is expected to be XOF 1,174.0 billion, resulting in an overall budget financing gap of XOF 638 billion. Regarding public debt, substantial restructuring and improved oil prices have restored debt sustainability under the IMF program. In 2022, Congo's total public debt stood at USD 13.0 billion (92.5% of GDP), comprising 47% external debt and 53.5% domestic debt. The IMF projects a decrease in debt to 87.3% of GDP by 2025 amid nominal GDP growth.
Inflation, which averaged 3% in 2022, was projected to accelerate to 3.5% in 2023 due to factors like fuel price deregulation and increases in electricity prices. However, inflation is expected to decelerate to 3.2% in 2024 and return to the 3% threshold in 2025, according to the IMF. Reducing debt vulnerabilities, enhancing domestic revenue mobilization, improving public spending efficiency, and implementing structural reforms are key priorities. The National Development Plan 2022-2026 emphasizes social and infrastructure spending. However, economic diversification remains a significant challenge for the country.

The poverty rate in Congo was alarming, reaching 52% in 2021, with a low GDP per capita estimated at USD 3,791 (PPP) by the World Bank. The unemployment rate was estimated at around 20.5% in 2022, with the informal sector playing a prominent role, engaging about 80% of urban workers.

 
Main Indicators 20222023 (E)2024 (E)2025 (E)2026 (E)
GDP (billions USD) 13.9614.4215.5016.2317.08
GDP (Constant Prices, Annual % Change) 1.84.04.43.23.7
GDP per Capita (USD) 2,3382,3502,4572,5022,562
General Government Gross Debt (in % of GDP) 92.5100.894.689.483.6
Inflation Rate (%) 3.04.53.63.03.0
Current Account (billions USD) 2.590.470.39-0.01-0.22
Current Account (in % of GDP) 18.53.22.5-0.1-1.3

Source: IMF – World Economic Outlook Database, 2016

Note: (e) Estimated Data

 
Monetary Indicators 20162017201820192020
CFA Franc BEAC (XAF) - Average Annual Exchange Rate For 1 GHS 148.62133.80121.19112.67102.86

Source: World Bank, 2015

 

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Latest Update: April 2024