Liberia Economy

Is Liberia a rich country?

Liberia is a low-income country that relies heavily on foreign assistance and remittances from the diaspora. It is richly endowed with water, mineral resources, forests, and a climate favorable to agriculture. Its principal exports are iron ore, rubber, diamonds, and gold. Palm oil and cocoa are emerging as new export products. The government has attempted to revive raw timber extraction and is encouraging oil exploration.

In the 1990s and early 2000s, civil war and government mismanagement destroyed much of Liberia's economy, especially infrastructure in and around the capital. Much of the conflict was fueled by control over Liberia’s natural resources. With the conclusion of fighting and the installation of a democratically elected government in 2006, businesses that had fled the country began to return. The country achieved high growth during the period 2010-13 due to favorable world prices for its commodities. However, during the 2014-2015 Ebola crisis, the economy declined and many foreign-owned businesses departed with their capital and expertise. The epidemic forced the government to divert scarce resources to combat the spread of the virus, reducing funds available for needed public investment. The cost of addressing the Ebola epidemic coincided with decreased economic activity reducing government revenue, although higher donor support significantly offset this loss. During the same period, global commodities prices for key exports fell and have yet to recover to pre-Ebola levels.

In 2017, gold was a key driver of growth, as a new mining project began its first full year of production; iron ore exports are also increased as Arcelor Mittal opened new mines at Mount Gangra. The completion of the rehabilitation of the Mount Coffee Hydroelectric Dam increased electricity production to support ongoing and future economic activity, although electricity tariffs remain high relative to other countries in the region and transmission infrastructure is limited. Presidential and legislative elections in October 2017 generated election-related spending pressures.

Revitalizing the economy in the future will depend on economic diversification, increasing investment and trade, higher global commodity prices, sustained foreign aid and remittances, development of infrastructure and institutions, combating corruption, and maintaining political stability and security.

Liberia Economy Data

What is the GDP of Liberia?

Currency Name and Code Liberian Dollar (LRD)
GDP - Gross Domestic Product (PPP) $3,711,000,000 (USD)
GDP - official exchange rate $2,015,000,000 (USD)
GDP - real growth rate 0.9%
GDP Per Capita $900.00 (USD)
GDP by Sector- agriculture 36%
GDP by Sector- Industry 16%
GDP by Sector- services 48%
GDP - composition, by end use household consumption: 116.3%

government consumption: 20.7%

investment in fixed capital: 25.4%

investment in inventories: -5.2%

exports of goods and services: 32.4%

imports of goods and services: -89.5%
Population Below Poverty Line 80%
Inflation Rate 11.2%
Labor Force 1,372,000
Labor Force By Occupation- agriculture 70%
Labor Force By Occupation- industry 8%
Labor Force By Occupation- services 22%
Unemployment Rate 85%
Fiscal Year calendar year
Annual Budget $0 (USD)
Budget Surplus or Deficit - percent of GDP -2.9%
Taxes and other revenues - percent of GDP 23.5%
Major Industries rubber processing, palm oil processing, timber, diamonds
Agriculture Products rubber, coffee, cocoa, rice, cassava (tapioca), palm oil, sugarcane, bananas; sheep, goats; timber
Exchange Rate per US Dollar Liberian dollar (LRD)
Child Labor - % of children ages 5-14 21%
Child Labor - # of children ages 5-14 177,160
Commercial Bank Prime Lending Rate 14%

Labor Force by Occupation- As reported by Liberia

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