For the latest updates on the key economic responses from governments to address the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, please consult the IMF's policy tracking platform Policy Responses to COVID-19.
The Algerian economy is mainly driven by hydrocarbons and public investment, with the former accounting for 40% of GDP, 94% of exports and one-third of fiscal revenues. In 2022, the country benefited from high energy prices and the increased demand from Europe that followed the EU sanctions against Russia: overall, the IMF estimated growth at 4.7%. In the same year, non-hydrocarbon GDP growth was projected to accelerate to 3.2%, from 2.1% one year earlier (IMF), despite the erosion of household purchasing power caused by food price-driven inflation. For 2023, GDP growth is forecast at 2.6% amid lower investment (especially in the private sector), with a further deceleration for 2024 (2% according to the IMF).
In recent years, continued large fiscal and external current account deficits have reduced policy space as public debt increased significantly and international reserves declined (IMF). The situation improved only partially in 2022, as higher hydrocarbon revenues contributed offsetting the government's operational and capital expenditure and the large share of social transfers (estimated to account for around 9.5% of GDP according to Coface). Nevertheless, such a strong dependence on oil prices underlines the need for economic diversification, especially toward petrochemicals, gas and agricultural products that have high export potential. After soaring following the COVID-19 crisis, the public debt-to-GDP ratio decreased to 62.7% in 2022, but it is expected to follow an upward trend over the forecast horizon, at 70.3% this year and 75.6% in 2024 (IMF). Overall, Algeria’s external debt level is very low (less than 3% of GDP) but could increase in the event of adverse shocks or if fiscal deficits widen. Foreign exchange reserves have been falling since 2013, decreasing from USD 195 billion to USD 53.5 billion in September 2022. Inflationary pressures have intensified due to higher international food prices and an episode of drought: the annual average inflation rate reached 9.7% in 2022, a level not seen in 25 years. The central bank has taken actions to control price pressures, but monetary policy remained accommodative, and the IMF expects inflation to remain high in 2023 (8.7%) and 2024 (9.3%). The new Government Action Plan comprises a wide range of reforms to support the transition towards a more diversified and sustainable economy and bolster governance and social cohesion, for example focusing on the mining sector (iron, phosphate), in accordance with the 2021-2023 national mining programme. Moreover, the country is looking for ways to reduce its dependence on gas for power generation by investing in solar energy.
According to IMF estimates, unemployment hit 13.7% of the population in 2022. As per the World Bank, unemployment is highest among youth, women and graduates due to skills mismatch in the labour market. With a youth unemployment rate above 30%, in 2022 Algerian President Abdelmadjid Tebboune announced a new unemployment benefit for first-time jobseekers aged 19 to 40. There are also big differences between living conditions in cities and rural areas, and instability caused by radical groups on Algeria's borders remains a risk factor.
|Main Indicators||2020||2021||2022 (E)||2023 (E)||2024 (E)|
|GDP (billions USD)||145.66||163.14||195.42||206.01||210.86|
|GDP (Constant Prices, Annual % Change)||-5.1||3.4||2.9||2.6||2.6|
|GDP per Capita (USD)||3,322||3,660||4,315||4,481||4,522|
|General Government Balance (in % of GDP)||0.0||0.0||0.0||0.0||0.0|
|General Government Gross Debt (in % of GDP)||52.0||62.8||52.4||52.2||55.4|
|Inflation Rate (%)||2.4||7.2||9.3||8.1||7.7|
|Unemployment Rate (% of the Labour Force)||0.0||0.0||0.0||0.0||0.0|
|Current Account (billions USD)||-18.71||-4.61||13.99||1.59||-5.78|
|Current Account (in % of GDP)||-12.8||-2.8||7.2||0.8||-2.7|
Source: IMF – World Economic Outlook Database, Latest data available.
Note : (E) Estimated data
Agriculture accounts for 13% of GDP and employs 10% of the workforce (World Bank, latest data available). The main crops are wheat, barley, oats, citrus, wine grapes, olives, tobacco and dates. Algeria produces a large quantity of cork and is an important livestock farmer. In late 2020, the government introduced a 2020-2024 roadmap strategy to develop the soft wheat, maize, sugar and oilseeds sectors with the aim to reduce the annual food import bill (FAO). According to official governmental figures, the production of cereals reached 41 million quintals in the 2021/2022 agricultural season, an increase of 48% compared to the previous one, while the production of legumes increased by 20% and that of potatoes by 30%.
The secondary sector represents 20.3% of GDP, employing 30% of the active population. The oil and gas sector accounts for most of the federal income and almost all of its export income (it represents over 90% of total exports). Algeria is among the top five largest gas exporters in the world, it ranks 16th in oil reserves and 10th in confirmed gas reserves. The ores mined in large quantities are iron, lead, phosphate, uranium, zinc, salt and coal. The main activities of the manufacturing sector are industrial food processing, textile products, chemical products, metals and construction materials. The manufacturing sector alone accounts for 26% of GDP. Figures from the Ministry of Industry show that in 2022 the public industrial sector recorded a growth rate of over 8%, mostly thanks to a raise in energy exports, favoured by the EU sanctions against Russia.
The tertiary sector contributes to 44% of GDP and employs 60% of the workforce. Algeria's banking sector is dominated by public banks, which suffer from high levels of non-performing loans to state-owned enterprises. Of the 20 banks operating in Algeria, six state-run banks retain the lion’s share of the market. With over 1,600 km of Mediterranean coastline, important cultural and historical sites, and the striking desert landscapes of the Sahara, Algeria has long held considerable potential for tourism. Nevertheless, the sector still accounts for a small part of GDP.
|Breakdown of Economic Activity By Sector||Agriculture||Industry||Services|
|Employment By Sector (in % of Total Employment)||9.6||30.4||60.0|
|Value Added (in % of GDP)||13.0||38.9||44.0|
|Value Added (Annual % Change)||-1.3||7.4||3.1|
Source: World Bank, Latest data available.
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The business rankings model measures the quality or attractiveness of the business environment in the 82 countries covered by The Economist Intelligence Unit’s Country Forecast reports. It examines ten separate criteria or categories, covering the political environment, the macroeconomic environment, market opportunities, policy towards free enterprise and competition, policy towards foreign investment, foreign trade and exchange controls, taxes, financing, the labour market and infrastructure.
Following liberalisation of the electoral law in 1997, dozens of political parties entered the parliamentary sphere. Still, most political power is concentrated in the President-backed National Liberation Front (FLN).
The main opposition parties include:
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.).
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.
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Latest Update: September 2023