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Economic Indicators

The precarious political and security situation that characterizes the Central African Republic (CAR) since 2013 negatively impacts economic growth. From an economic standpoint, the GDP of Central Africa, pegged at XAF 1,530 billion (approximately EUR 2.3 billion) in 2023, stands 20% lower in real terms compared to 2012. Recent economic growth has been chiefly propelled by forestry, gold and diamond mining, as well as construction and public works. Economic growth saw a modest uptick to 0.9% in 2023, a slight improvement from 0.5% in 2022, primarily influenced by restricted fuel availability and mixed agricultural performance. The scarcity of fuel has led to elevated transportation costs and disrupted local production and trade. Furthermore, diamond production, a significant export commodity, declined by 6.7% in FY2022/23 due to reduced international demand amid a surge in synthetic diamonds. The medium-term outlook indicates a gradual economic recovery but remains susceptible to challenges. Real GDP growth is forecasted to slowly rebound, reaching 1.3% in 2024 and averaging 1.8% in 2025-26, contingent on factors like the second disbursement of budget support from the African Development Bank (AfDB) and policy adjustments to enhance fuel availability (data World Bank).

Since 2020, the Central African Republic's macro-fiscal vulnerabilities have worsened due to a succession of external shocks, including renewed insecurity and violence, the COVID-19 pandemic, and the Russian invasion of Ukraine. These shocks have strained public finances, heightened inflationary pressures, endangered food security, and impeded poverty reduction initiatives. Additionally, climate-related shocks such as droughts and floods persist, exacerbating an already dire humanitarian situation, especially in remote regions. Despite ongoing improvements, the overall fiscal balance remained structurally in deficit in 2023, with public debt increasing to 55.7% of GDP. Fuel shortages in the final quarter of the year led to reduced petroleum tax collection, contributing to the deficit. Efforts in domestic revenue mobilization, including the implementation of a new tax on electronic communications, along with controlled current spending and increased external grant financing, facilitated a reduction in overall fiscal imbalances in 2023. However, domestic debt is projected to reach 21% of GDP in 2023, with yields on 3-year issuances persisting around 11%, among the highest in the CEMAC region. Despite rising transportation costs, inflation declined from 5.6% in 2022 to 3.0% in 2023, marking its lowest level since 2021. However, inflation is projected to surpass the regional ceiling in 2024 and remain elevated in the medium term (World Bank). According to the IMF, several economic and social challenges persist in the short to medium terms. Firstly, the ongoing crisis in the energy sector, particularly in fuel and electricity, continues to affect both business activity and household welfare. Secondly, a series of recent shocks, coupled with inadequate social safety nets, have exacerbated the complex humanitarian crisis facing the country. Finally, these challenges are further exacerbated by the limited fiscal space available to the government, given the heightened risks associated with public debt. Apart from the IMF, various technical and financial partners, including the World Bank, African Development Bank, European Union, among others, are actively engaged in the Central African Republic. Their interventions encompass a wide range of projects across multiple sectors.

Poverty persists at high levels, with an estimated 65.9% of the population living in extreme poverty in 2023, defined as falling below the international poverty line of USD 2.15 per person per day (2017 PPP). The extreme poverty rate is projected to rise by one percentage point over the next two years due to negative per capita growth (World Bank). By December 31, 2023, the tally of internally displaced persons reached approximately 511,803 individuals, while about 754,421 people were registered as refugees in neighboring countries. Meanwhile, the World Bank estimated the country’s unemployment rate at 6.3% in 2023, while the GDP per capita (PPP) stood at USD 973, the second-lowest in the world.

Main Indicators 20222023 (E)2024 (E)2025 (E)2026 (E)
GDP (billions USD) 2.462.632.812.993.17
GDP (Constant Prices, Annual % Change)
GDP per Capita (USD) 490514538559580
General Government Gross Debt (in % of GDP) 54.255.755.654.450.7
Inflation Rate (%)
Current Account (billions USD) -0.31-0.24-0.22-0.20-0.17
Current Account (in % of GDP) -12.7-9.0-7.7-6.7-5.4

Source: IMF – World Economic Outlook Database - October 2021.

Note: (e) Estimated Data

Monetary Indicators 20162017201820192020
CFA Franc BEAC (XAF) - Average Annual Exchange Rate For 1 EUR 630.86657.54655.68658.31657.43

Source: World Bank - Latest available data.


Main Sectors of Industry

Breakdown of Economic Activity By Sector Agriculture Industry Services
Employment By Sector (in % of Total Employment) 68.5 6.7 24.8
Value Added (in % of GDP) 29.3 19.0 40.6
Value Added (Annual % Change) -2.4 -3.9 0.6

Source: World Bank - Latest available data.


The Active Population in Figures

Labour Force 1,874,4531,910,9331,922,667

Source: International Labour Organization, ILOSTAT database

Total activity rate 73.10%72.80%72.48%
Men activity rate 80.51%79.98%79.42%
Women activity rate 65.84%65.76%65.68%

Source: International Labour Organization, ILOSTAT database


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Indicator of Economic Freedom


The Economic freedom index measure ten components of economic freedom, grouped into four broad categories or pillars of economic freedom: Rule of Law (property rights, freedom from corruption); Limited Government (fiscal freedom, government spending); Regulatory Efficiency (business freedom, labour freedom, monetary freedom); and Open Markets (trade freedom, investment freedom, financial freedom). Each of the freedoms within these four broad categories is individually scored on a scale of 0 to 100. A country’s overall economic freedom score is a simple average of its scores on the 10 individual freedoms.

World Rank:
Regional Rank:

Economic freedom in the world (interactive map)
Source: Index of Economic Freedom, Heritage Foundation


Country Risk

See the country risk analysis provided by Coface.


Indicator of Political Freedom


The Indicator of Political Freedom provides an annual evaluation of the state of freedom in a country as experienced by individuals. The survey measures freedom according to two broad categories: political rights and civil liberties. The ratings process is based on a checklist of 10 political rights questions (on Electoral Process, Political Pluralism and Participation, Functioning of Government) and 15 civil liberties questions (on Freedom of Expression, Belief, Associational and Organizational Rights, Rule of Law, Personal Autonomy and Individual Rights). Scores are awarded to each of these questions on a scale of 0 to 4, where a score of 0 represents the smallest degree and 4 the greatest degree of rights or liberties present. The total score awarded to the political rights and civil liberties checklist determines the political rights and civil liberties rating. Each rating of 1 through 7, with 1 representing the highest and 7 the lowest level of freedom, corresponds to a range of total scores.

Not Free
Political Freedom:

Political freedom in the world (interactive map)
Source: Freedom in the World Report, Freedom House


Indicator of Freedom of the Press


The world rankings, published annually, measures violations of press freedom worldwide. It reflects the degree of freedom enjoyed by journalists, the media and digital citizens of each country and the means used by states to respect and uphold this freedom. Finally, a note and a position are assigned to each country. To compile this index, Reporters Without Borders (RWB) prepared a questionnaire incorporating the main criteria (44 in total) to assess the situation of press freedom in a given country. This questionnaire was sent to partner organisations,150 RWB correspondents, journalists, researchers, jurists and human rights activists. It includes every kind of direct attacks against journalists and digital citizens (murders, imprisonment, assault, threats, etc.) or against the media (censorship, confiscation, searches and harassment etc.).

World Rank:

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Sources of General Economic Information

Main Online Newspapers and Portals
Allafrica, Central African Republic news
ICICEMAC, Central African Republic news (only in French)
Einnews, Central African Republic news
BBC profile
Useful Resources
Ministry of Mines and Geology
List of ministries available on the Government Portal
Bank of Central African States

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Latest Update: May 2024

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