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    Lesotho Economy 1998

      Economy - overview Small, landlocked, and mountainous, Lesotho has no important natural resources other than water. Its economy is based on agriculture, light manufacturing, and remittances from miners employed in South Africa. The number of such mine workers has declined steadily over the past five years; in 1996 their remittances added about 33% to GDP compared with the addition of roughly 67% in 1990. Manufacturing depends largely on farm products which support the milling, canning, leather, and jute industries. Recent foreign investments will enable Lesotho to export garments made from imported textiles. Although drought has decreased agricultural activity over the past few years, completion of a major hydropower facility in January 1998 now permits the sale of water to South Africa and will support the economy's continued expansion. The pace of the privatization of state-owned firms increased toward the end of 1994.

      GDP purchasing power parity - $5.1 billion (1997 est.)

      GDP - real growth rate 9% (1997 est.)

      GDP - per capita purchasing power parity - $2,500 (1997 est.)

      GDP - composition by sector
      agriculture: 10%
      industry: 53%
      services: 37% (1997)

      Inflation rate - consumer price index 8.7% (1996 est.)

      Labor force
      total: 689,000 economically active
      by occupation: 86% of resident population engaged in subsistence agriculture; roughly 35% of the active male wage earners work in South Africa

      Unemployment rate substantial unemployment and underemployment effecting more than half of the labor force (1996 est.)

      revenues: $507 million
      expenditures: $487 million, including capital expenditures of $170 million (FY96/97 est.)

      Industries food, beverages, textiles, handicrafts; construction; tourism

      Industrial production growth rate 19.7% (1995)

      Electricity - capacity 0 kW (1995)
      note: electricity supplied by South Africa

      Electricity - production 0 kWh (1995)
      note: electricity supplied by South Africa

      Electricity - consumption per capita 163 kWh (1995)

      Agriculture - products corn, wheat, pulses, sorghum, barley; livestock

      total value: $218 million (f.o.b., 1996 est.)
      commodities: clothing, wool, footwear, road vehicles, mohair (1995)
      partners: South African Customs Union 52%, North America 38%, EU 9% (1995)

      total value: $1.1 billion (c.i.f., 1996 est.)
      commodities: corn, clothing, building materials, vehicles, machinery, medicines, petroleum products (1993)
      partners: South African Customs Union 90%, Asia 6%, EU 2% (1995)

      Debt - external $517 million (FY95/96 est.)

      Economic aid
      recipient: ODA, $NA

      Currency 1 loti (L) = 100 lisente
      note: maloti (M) is the plural form of loti

      Exchange rates maloti (M) per US$1 - 4.94193 (January 1998), 4.60796 (1997), 4.29935 (1996), 3.62709 (1995), 3.55080 (1994), 3.26774 (1993); note - the Basotho loti is at par with the South African rand

      Fiscal year 1 April - 31 March

      NOTE: The information regarding Lesotho on this page is re-published from the 1998 World Fact Book of the United States Central Intelligence Agency. No claims are made regarding the accuracy of Lesotho Economy 1998 information contained here. All suggestions for corrections of any errors about Lesotho Economy 1998 should be addressed to the CIA.

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    Revised 21-Dec-01
    Copyright © 2001 Photius Coutsoukis (all rights reserved)