Mauritania flag Mauritania: 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.

Mauritania's GDP growth is considerably exposed to fluctuations in global mineral commodity prices given the large share of extractive industries in the country's economy. After contracting by 0.9% in 2020 following the outbreak of the global COVID-19 pandemic, the economy rebounded by an estimated 2.4% in 2021. In 2022, economic growth accelerated and was estimated to reach 5.3%, driven primarily by the mining sector, agriculture, and fisheries (IMF), with a positive outlook over the forecast horizon as the IMF projects growth to reach 4.8% this year and 8.1% in 2024. However, the country remains vulnerable to shocks such as security risks in the Sahel region, the effects of the conflict in Ukraine, and drought-related threats that could result in lower economic activity and increased poverty.

The performance of the economy will depend on the continuation of current reforms in the areas of agriculture, port infrastructure, and business climate and on increased production in the extractive sector following the expansion of the country’s gold mines. Concerning public finances, the debt-to-GDP ratio decreased to 50.7% in 2022 (from 51.7% one year earlier), and is forecast to increase slightly to 51.6% this year, as the end of the Debt Service Suspension Initiative (DSSI) translated into higher debt servicing costs. In 2022, the IMF approved a 42-month arrangement of USD 86.9 million under the Extended Credit Facility and Extended Fund Facility with Mauritania, of which USD 21.7 million were made available immediately and the remaining amount will be phased in over the duration of the program, subject to semi-annual reviews. Inflation continued its upward trend throughout 2022, fuelled by rising energy and food prices, and reached an estimated 7.1%. Despite the Central Bank’s tight monetary policy, inflation is expected to remain high in 2023 (7.8%) before decreasing to around 5.8% the following year (IMF).

Overall, the government will need to modernise the country and support education and industrial diversification to limit its dependence on raw materials price fluctuations (iron, copper, gold, quartz, cattle, and fish). To this extent, authorities have elaborated an inclusive growth strategy for the period 2017-30, planning structural reforms and significant investment in infrastructure. The three pillars of this investment strategy are inclusive economic growth, human capital development and governance improvement. The country's unemployment rate was estimated at 11.3% in 2021, with around 6.3% of the population living in poverty (World Bank, latest data available). Mauritania is considered a lower-middle-income country, with a GDP per capita (PPP) estimated at USD 6,925 in 2022 by the IMF.

Main Indicators 20222023 (E)2024 (E)2025 (E)2026 (E)
GDP (billions USD) 9.9010.3610.9111.6512.10
GDP (Constant Prices, Annual % Change)
GDP per Capita (USD) 2,2852,3382,4082,5172,557
General Government Gross Debt (in % of GDP) 50.849.548.247.446.1
Inflation Rate (%) n/a7.
Current Account (billions USD) -1.52-1.02-1.21-0.98-0.83
Current Account (in % of GDP) -15.3-9.9-11.1-8.4-6.9

Source: IMF – World Economic Outlook Database, 2016

Note: (e) Estimated Data

Monetary Indicators 20152017201820192020
Ouguiya (MRU) - Average Annual Exchange Rate For 1 GHS 87.518.237.787.066.74

Source: World Bank, 2015


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Latest Update: December 2023