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Liberia Liberia

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Liberia

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EconomicPoliticalStructural

Liberia – Quick View
ECR score30.87 (Mar 2011)
ECR rank133 (Mar 2011)
Economic
GDP 2010USD 0.014 billion
GNI per capita PPPUSD 320
FDI inflowUSD 378 million
Inflation 20107.24%
Central bank assets 2009USD 378,791.67
Unemployment rate 20075.6%
Government deficit 2010USD 0.0014 billion
Tax revenue28.6% of GDP
Political
Government typeRepublic
Recent political crisisNA
Economic freedom score160th
Freedom of information score84th
Corruption perception index87th
Structural
Birth rate38%
Population balanceUnder 14 - 42.7%
Population balanceOver 60 Female – 5.3%
Population balanceOver 60 Male – 4.4%
Life expectancy yearsMale 56.7 years
Life expectancy yearsFemale 59.4 years
Mortality rate95.1 per 1,000
Literacy rate58.9%
Internet access0.5%

[Top] Economic Overview

Liberia’s economy was one of the most prosperous on the African continent, prior to the 1980 military coup. The coup was followed by civil war and political instability, leading to businesses shutting down. Liberia’s economy has been improving since peace and democracy were established.

Liberia's large mineral reserves has attracted significant amounts of foreign direct investment. Liberia’s main exports include rubber, diamonds, timber, iron, coffee and cocoa.

(Source: economywatch.com)

GDP at current prices

Liberia GDP
(Source: IMF)

Liberia’s GDP at current prices in 2010 was estimated at LRD 0.98 billion compared to LRD 0.88 billion in 2009.

The GDP at constant prices was estimated at LRD 0.565 billion in 2010 compared to LRD 0.531 billion in 2009.

GDP growth rate

 

Liberia GDP growth rate

 

(Source: IMF)

The real GDP growth in 2010 was 6.3% compared to 4.63% in 2009.

Gross national income (GNI) per capita

Liberia GNI per capita

 

(Source: UNDP)

Liberia's GNI per capita at PPP in 2010 was USD 320  compared to USD 275 in 2005.

Income tax rate

The highest tax rate on individual income is 35%.

(Source: heritage.org)

Corporate tax rate

The highest corporate tax rate is 25%.

(Source: heritage.org)

Inflation rate

 

Liberia Inflation rate
(Source: IMF)

The inflation rate in 2010 was 7.24% compared to 7.43% in 2009.

FDI Inflow

Liberia’s FDI inflow was USD 378 million in 2009 compared to USD 200 million in 2008.

Liberia FDI inflow
 
 
(Source: UNCTAD)

Banking sector assets

The total assets of the Central Bank of Liberia at the end of December 2009 amounted to LRD 27,288,366,000 compared to LRD 22,441,225,000 at the end of December 2008.

 

Balance Sheet – Assets of Central Bank of Liberia (LRD ‘000)

 

31 December 2009

31 December 2008

Cash and balances with Central Banks

10,217,291

7,185,826

Cash and balances with commercial banks

2,031,087

1,648,505

Loans, advances and overdraft to Operating Bank

37,489

-

Loans and advances to Government of Liberia

13,653,539

12,392,010

Other receivables-GOL

-

4

Investment security: Held-to-maturity

488,998

444,247

Staff loans

17,541

14,483

Intangible assets

9,315

15,705

Investment property

19,740

22,080

Property, machinery and equipment

469,380

396,781

Other assets

343,986

321,584

Total assets

27,288,366

22,441,22

(Source: Central Bank)

[Top] Financial Indicators & Government Financial

Consumer Price Index

Liberia Consumer price index

(Source: IMF)

The consumer price index at the end of 2010 was 254.35 compared to 242.78 at the end of 2009.

Interest rates on saving deposits/time deposits

The interest rate offered by banks on time deposits in the second quarter of 2010 was 4.2% compared to 3.6% in the corresponding period in 2009.

The interest rate on savings in the second quarter of 2010 was 2.19 compared to 2% in the second quarter of 2009.

(Source: Central Bank, page no.18)

Money supply (currency in circulation)

The currency in circulation at the end of November 2010 amounted to LRD 4,910.3 million compared to LRD 4,583.4 million at the end of December 2009.

(Source: Central Bank)

Money Supply (LRD million)

End of period

November 2010

December 2009

December 2008

Money Supply M2

28,652

22,855.4

16,717.9

Money Supply M1

19,805.1

16,847.8

12,443.5

Currency outside banks

4,337

4,161.8

3,637.1

Demand deposit

15,468.1

12,686

8,806.4

Quasi Money

8,847

6,007.6

4,274.4

(Source: Central Bank)

Government expenditure

The total government expenditure for 2010 was an estimated LRD 0.399 billion compared to LRD 0.371 billion in 2009.

Liberia Government expenditure
(Source: IMF)

Public debt levels

Liberia’s total public debt at the end of December 2010 amounted to USD 503.3 million. Of the total debt, external debt was USD 222.8 million and domestic debt was USD 280.4 million.

(Source: Central Bank)

 

Official exchange rate

Liberia Exchange rate

(Source: Central Bank)

LRD per US dollar rate for 2010 was 71.4 as compared to 67.81 in the year 2009.

Government finances

Fiscal balance/government net lending

Liberia Government Net lending/borrowing

(Source: IMF)

Net government borrowing in 2010 was LRD 0.098 billion compared to LRD 0.108 billion in 2009. Net borrowing in 2010 was  an estimated 10.06% of GDP.

Total revenue

Liberia Government revenue
(Source: IMF)

The total revenue in 2010 amounted to LRD 0.301 billion compared to LRD 0.263 billion in 2009.

Tax revenue

The total tax revenue is estimated at 28.6% of Liberia’s GDP.

(Source: heritage.org)

Total grants

The total grants received in the second quarter of 2010 amounted to LRD 49.4 million compared to LRD 723.4 million in the corresponding quarter in 2009.

(Source: Central Bank, page: 28)

Current account balance

Liberia Current account balance

(Source: IMF)

The current account balance in 2010 was estimated to be 36.75% of GDP compared to 33.16% in 2009.

Balance of payments

Balance of Payments (USD million)

 

2009

2008

2007

Trade balance

-383

-370

-291

Services Balance

-82

-100

-89

Net Income

-167

-156

-154

Current transfers, net total

308

296

288

Current account balance

-324

-329

-246

(Source: AFDB)

[Top] Labour Force and Employment Overview

Labour force

The total labour force in Liberia in 2009 was 1.61 million compared to 1.54 million in 2008.

(Source: World Bank)

Labour force participation rate

The labour force participation rate was 71% in 2009. The labour force participation rate for men and women was 76% and 67% respectively in 2009.

(Source: World Bank, World Bank, World Bank)

 

Employment by Sector

Sector

2010

2009

2008

Public

37,532

34,000

47,681

Private

107,115

90,755

59,287

Total

144,647

124,755

106,968

Informal Sector

672,352

569,790

487,000

(Source: Central Bank)

In 2010 107,115 individuals were employed in the private sector, while an estimated 37,532 individuals were employed in the public sector.

Employment by sectors

The agricultural and forestry sectors account for a major share of  employment with 26.7%, followed by the government sector (25.9%).

 

Employment by Industry, 2010

Industry

Employment figures

Agriculture and Forestry

38,615

General Merchandise/Wholesale/Retail Trade

7,536

Business Services

10,179

Social/Community Services

28,020

Manufacturing

1,367

Construction

3,856

Transportation & Communication

9,423

Mining

1,691

Banking & Insurance

6,426

Government

37,532

(Source: Central Bank)

Unemployment rate

The World Bank estimates that the unemployment rate in Liberia in 2007 was 5.6%. However, certain organisations estimate the figure to be much higher at 65-70%.

(Source: worldbank.org, inwent.org)

Minimum wage

Liberia’s minimum wage in 2011 for unskilled labour is LRD 15 per hour, excluding benefits.  For civil servants the minimum wage is LRD 4,200 per month.

The minimum wage for a 19-year old employee or an apprentice is USD 52 per month.

(Source: minimum-wage.org, doingbusiness.org)

Level of unionisation

The Liberia Federation of Labour Unions (LFLU) is a national centre for trade unions in Liberia.

(Source: ituc-csi.org)

 

[Top] Political Stability

Government stability

Liberia is a republic and has a democratic form of government. The president is the head of the state and the government. The executive power is vested in the government.

Parliament has primary legislative powers, is bicameral and includes the house of representatives and the Liberian Senate. The House of Representatives is made up of 64 members, who are directly elected for a six-year term. The Liberian Senate is comprised of 30 members elected for a term of nine years.

The civil wars in Liberia took place during two periods; the first civil war lasted from 1989 to 1996 and the second civil war from 1999 to 2003. Liberia has become a more stable nation after the return to democracy in 2005.

Some of the political parties in Liberia are:

  • National Reformation Party (NRP)
  • Free Democratic Party (FDP)
  • National Party of Liberia (NPL)
  • Liberty Party (LP)
  • Labor Party of Liberia (LPL)

(Source: state.gov, IPU, Election Commission)

Regulatory environment

Liberia Economic Freedom Indices

(Source: heritage.org)

Liberia's economic freedom score was 46.5, making its economy the 160th freest in the 2011 Index of Economic Freedom. Liberia ranked 39th out of 46 countries in the Sub-Saharan Africa region, and its overall score is below the world and regional averages.

Corruption perception

The Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) is a survey to measure the perceived level of corruption across countries worldwide. Liberia is ranked 87th with a score of 3.3 which indicates that the corruption levels in the public departments is fairly high.

(Source: transparency.org)

Freedom of information

In 2010, Liberia was ranked 84th on the Press Freedom Index with a score of 22.50. Liberia slipped from 62nd position it had in the 2009 rankings.

(Source: rsf.org)

Newspapers

The main newspapers in Liberia include -

  • The Inquirer
  • Daily Observer
  • The News
  • The Analyst
  • The Heritage
  • Poll Watch

(Source: BBC)

Judicial system

In Liberia, judicial power is vested in the Supreme Court and the subordinate courts. The various courts in Liberia other than the Supreme Court include Circuit Courts, Magistrates Courts and Peace Courts.

The Supreme Court is consists of a Chief Justice and four associate justices. Circuit Courts have jurisdiction in cases including assault, burglary, rape and murder. Magistrates Courts have both civil and criminal jurisdiction.

(Source: nyulawglobal.org)

 

[Top] Demographic Overview

Population

The population of Liberia in 2010 was estimated at 4.31 million compared to 4.13 million in 2009.

(Source: IMF)

Gender balance

The gender ratio is almost balanced with 98.8 males per 100 females.

(Source: UN)

Population age structure

In 2009, 42.7% of the population was in the age group of 0-14 years. The population above 60 years included 5.3% women and 4.4% men in the same period.

(Source: UN)

Median age

The median age of the population increased from 17.5 years in 1990 to 18.5 years in 2010.

(Source: undp.org, page: 195)

Life expectancy

In Liberia, life expectancy at birth in 2010 was 59.1 years. In the period 2005-2010, the life expectancy at birth for men and women was registered at 56.7 years and 59.4 years respectively.

(Source: UNDP, UN)

Mortality rate

The mortality rate of infants was recorded at 95.1 per 1,000 live births in 2010.

(Source: UN)

Death rate and birth rate

In 2009, the crude death rate and birth rate was 10% and 38% respectively.

(Source: unicef.org)

Migration and urbanisation

The international migrant stock till mid-2010 was 96,300 people. This was approximately 2.4% of the total population.

In 2010, 47.8% of the total population was classified as urban. Between 2005-2010, the urban and rural population grew at an annual average rate of 5.7% and 2.8% respectively.

(Source: data.un.org, undp.org)

Ethnic groups

Ethnic groups include Kpelle, Bassa, Gio, Kru and others.  The main religions followed include Christianity, Islam and others.

(Source: state.gov)

Human development index

Liberia is ranked 162nd and scored 0.300 on UNDP (United Nations Development Program)’s Human Development Index (HDI) 2010. The HDI provides a composite measure of three dimensions of human development: living a long and healthy life (measured by life expectancy), being educated (measured by adult literacy and gross enrolment in education) and having a decent standard of living (measured by purchasing power parity, PPP, income).

(Source: undp.org)

[Top] Soft Infrastructure

Literacy rate

The adult literacy rate in Liberia was 58.9% in 2010.

(Source: UNDP)

Education

The Liberian education system includes pre-higher education, higher education and university level education. The Ministry of Education is the authority responsible for the development of education in Liberia.

The education system is not well developed due to low levels of investment in this sector and also due to the civil wars.

The combined gross enrolment ratio for both sexes is estimated at 57.6%. Expenditure on education is approximately 2.7% of Liberia's GDP.

(Source: liberianforum.com, UNDP)

Health

The Ministry of Health and Social Welfare is responsible for providing health and welfare services to the population. The health system in Liberia includes three levels of services - primary, secondary and tertiary.

The primary level includes basic services provided through clinics and small health centres. The secondary level health services are through large health centres and county hospitals. The tertiary care is provided by the John Fitzgerald Kennedy Medical Centre.

The main causes of death in children below the age of five years include diarrhoea, pneumonia, malaria and others. Approximately 38% of Liberia’s population are undernourished.

Public expenditure on health is 2.8% of GDP.

(Source: Ministry of Health, WHO, UNDP)

[Top] Hard Infrastructure

Mass Public Transit

The main forms of transport used in Liberia are land transport, rail transport and sea transport.

(Source: africacncl.org)

Roadways

In 2000, the total road length in Liberia was approximately 10,600km.

(Source: world.bymap.org)

Ports

The main ports in Liberia are Port of Buchanan, Port of Greenville, Port of Cape Palmas and Port of Monrovia.

(Source: worldportsource.com)

Airports

Town

Airport name

Runway length (ft)

Bafu Bay

Bafu Bay

2,900

Bomi Hills

Bomi Hills

3,600

Buchanan

Lamco

2,700

Buckanan

Buckanan

3,400

Grassfield

Nimba-Lamco

6,000

Greenville

Sinoe

4,400

Harper

Cape Palmas

3,200

Monrovia

Roberts Intl

11,000

Monrovia

Spriggs Payne

6,000

Tchien

Tchien

6,000

(Source: airchraft-charter-world)

Telecommunication

Liberia Fixed telephone line subcribers

(Source: ITU)

The number of fixed telephone lines subscribers in 2009 was 2,000 people and has remained unchanged since 2008.

Liberia Mobile cellular subscribers

(Source: ITU)

There were 842,000 mobile phone subscribers in 2009 compared to 732,000 in 2008. The mobile subscriptions per 100 inhabitants also increased from 19.30 in 2008 to 21.29 in 2009.

Liberia had approximately 20,000 internet users, making up 0.5% of the total population.

(Source:  internetworldstats.com)

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