Economy - overview: Sierra Leone is extremely poor and nearly half of the working-age population engages in subsistence agriculture. The country possesses substantial mineral, agricultural, and fishery resources, but it is still recovering from a civil war that destroyed most institutions before ending in the early 2000s. In recent years economic growth has been driven by mining - particularly iron ore. The country’s principal exports are iron ore, diamonds, and rutile, and the economy is vulnerable to fluctuations in international prices. Until 2014, the government had relied on external assistance to support its budget, but it was gradually becoming more independent. The Ebola outbreak of 2014 and 2015, combined with falling global commodities prices, caused a significant contraction of economic activity in all areas. While the World Health Organization declared an end to the Ebola outbreak in Sierra Leone in November 2015, low commodity prices in 2015-2016 contributed to the country’s biggest fiscal shortfall since 2001. In 2017, increased iron ore exports are expected to support modest economic growth. Non-mining activities will remain constrained by inadequate infrastructure, such as power and roads, even though power sector projects may provide some additional electricity capacity in the near term. Continued economic growth will depend on rising commodities prices and increased efforts to diversify the sources of growth. Pervasive corruption and undeveloped human capital will continue to deter foreign investors. Sustained international donor support in the near future will partially offset these fiscal constraints. GDP (purchasing power parity): $10.64 billion (2016 est.) $10.2 billion (2015 est.) $12.92 billion (2014 est.) note: data are in 2016 dollars country comparison to the world: 157 GDP (official exchange rate): $4.289 billion (2016 est.) GDP - real growth rate: 4.3% (2016 est.) -21.1% (2015 est.) 4.6% (2014 est.) country comparison to the world: 51 GDP - per capita (PPP): $1,700 (2016 est.) $1,600 (2015 est.) $2,100 (2014 est.) note: data are in 2016 dollars country comparison to the world: 211 Gross national saving: 2% of GDP (2016 est.) 2.1% of GDP (2015 est.) -7.2% of GDP (2014 est.) country comparison to the world: 174 GDP - composition, by end use: household consumption: 83.7% government consumption: 9.5% investment in fixed capital: 33.7% investment in inventories: 0.1% exports of goods and services: 15.2% imports of goods and services: -42.2% (2016 est.) GDP - composition, by sector of origin: agriculture: 71.1% industry: 7.9% services: 21% (2016 est.) Agriculture - products: rice, coffee, cocoa, palm kernels, palm oil, peanuts, cashews; poultry, cattle, sheep, pigs; fish Industries: diamond mining; iron ore, rutile and bauxite mining; small-scale manufacturing (beverages, textiles, footwear) Industrial production growth rate: 14% (2016 est.) country comparison to the world: 2 Labor force: 2.678 million (2016 est.) country comparison to the world: 111 Labor force - by occupation: agriculture: 61.1% industry: NA% services: 33.4% (2014 est.) Unemployment rate: 9.1% (2014 est.) country comparison to the world: 113 Population below poverty line: 70.2% (2004 est.) Household income or consumption by percentage share: lowest 10%: 2.6% highest 10%: 33.6% (2003) Distribution of family income - Gini index: 34 (2011) 62.9 (1989) country comparison to the world: 100 Budget: revenues: $558.1 million expenditures: $738.6 million (2016 est.) Taxes and other revenues: 13% of GDP (2016 est.) country comparison to the world: 203 Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-): -4.2% of GDP (2016 est.) country comparison to the world: 143 Public debt: 43.3% of GDP (2016 est.) 41.6% of GDP (2015 est.) country comparison to the world: 112 Fiscal year: calendar year Inflation rate (consumer prices): 7.1% (2016 est.) 8% (2015 est.) country comparison to the world: 194 Central bank discount rate: NA% Commercial bank prime lending rate: 18.9% (31 December 2016 est.) 18.78% (31 December 2015 est.) country comparison to the world: 21 Stock of narrow money: $444 million (31 December 2016 est.) $458.4 million (31 December 2015 est.) country comparison to the world: 169 Stock of broad money: $967.9 million (31 December 2016 est.) $904.6 million (31 December 2015 est.) country comparison to the world: 172 Stock of domestic credit: $505.2 million (31 December 2016 est.) $501.7 million (31 December 2015 est.) country comparison to the world: 175 Market value of publicly traded shares: $NA Current account balance: -$767 million (2016 est.) -$742 million (2015 est.) country comparison to the world: 114 Exports: $886.4 million (2016 est.) $569.4 million (2015 est.) country comparison to the world: 163 Exports - commodities: iron ore, diamonds, rutile, cocoa, coffee, fish Exports - partners: China 31.4%, Belgium 27.9%, Romania 11.4%, US 7.3% (2015) Imports: $1.303 billion (2016 est.) $1.575 billion (2015 est.) country comparison to the world: 173 Imports - commodities: foodstuffs, machinery and equipment, fuels and lubricants, chemicals Imports - partners: China 23.1%, India 8%, US 6.5%, Netherlands 5.1% (2015) Debt - external: $1.561 billion (31 December 2016 est.) $1.403 billion (31 December 2015 est.) country comparison to the world: 157 Stock of direct foreign investment - at home: $1.629 billion (31 December 2016 est.) $1.296 billion (31 December 2015 est.) country comparison to the world: 114 Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad: $9.7 million (31 December 2015 est.) $6.7 million (31 December 2014 est.) country comparison to the world: 109 Exchange rates: leones (SLL) per US dollar - 6,201.4 (2016 est.) 5,080.8 (2015 est.) 5,080.8 (2014 est.) 4,524.2 (2013 est.) 4,344 (2012 est.)
Economy