Economic Outline

flag Comoros Comoros: Economic Outline

Economic Indicators

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 Comorian economy was already weakened by political uncertainty and the passage of cyclone Kenneth when it was hit by the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020. From an estimated growth of 1.9% in 2019, GDP contracted by -0.5% in 2020 due to a drop in exports of cash crops and tourism (IMF). Economic growth rebounded to 1.6% in 2021, and is expected to pick up to 3.8% in 2022 and 3.7% in 2023, against a more favourable global economic backdrop and continuing development partners’ support (IMF).

In 2021, the Comorian economy started to recover from the challenges posed by the Covid-19 pandemic. During the crisis the country did not follow a containment strategy but closed its borders and instituted a curfew (AfDB). Remittances slowed, tourism fell and liquidity pressures increased. The IMF approved USD 12 million in emergency assistance to help the country address the pandemic and the country also benefited from IMF debt service relief under the Catastrophe Containment and Relief Trust. The budget deficit increased from 2.1% GDP in 2019 to 3.6% GDP in 2020, due to lower tax revenues and increased public spending (AfDB). In 2021 public debt continued its upward trend, reaching 26.6% GDP, and it is expected to further increase to 29.9% in 2022 and 32.6% in 2023 (IMF). The risk of debt distress is nonetheless considered moderate (AfDB). The already low inflation rate of 0.8% in 2020 turned into deflation in 2021 (-1%), and it is expected to pick up to 1.2% in 2022 and 1.4% in 2023 (IMF). Despite large imports, inflation is contained because the Comorian franc is pegged against the euro. Supporting economic and social recovery remains a priority and the government has requested IMF assistance. In July 2021, the IMF approved a Staff-Monitored Program (SMP) designed to support the government’s program of reforms and to pave the way to a potential Extended Credit Facility (ECF) arrangement. To tackle economic fragility, the government’s top priority is to raise fiscal revenue to support investment in human and physical capital and enhance debt sustainability. The authorities also aim to strengthen the quality of spending, public financial management, State-Owned Enterprises (SOE) oversight, and the financial sector. To address institutional fragility, the authorities aim to enhance governance (IMF). Some of Comoros biggest challenges include weak institutional capacities, a lack of basic infrastructure, heavy dependence on external aid, high exposure to threats related to the over exploitation of natural resources (deforestation, land degradation, groundwater pollution, and coastal erosion), corruption and an inefficient judicial system that is vulnerable to political interference.

With 45% of the population living below the poverty line, Comoros is one of the poorest countries in the world. The unemployment rate in Comoros has increased to around 9.2% (World Bank, 2020). General under employment is the norm, and a large part of the population works in the primary sector. The country is ranked 156/189 in the Human Development Index. Every year, dozens of Comorians die while trying to sail to the French Department of Mayotte.

 
Main Indicators 201920202021 (e)2022 (e)2023 (e)
GDP (billions USD) 1.19e1.22e1.281.361.45
GDP (Constant Prices, Annual % Change) 1.8e-0.51.63.83.7
GDP per Capita (USD) 1,360e1,355e1,3901,4271,467
General Government Gross Debt (in % of GDP) 19.5e22.326.629.932.6
Inflation Rate (%) 3.70.81.55.01.5
Current Account (billions USD) -0.04-0.02-0.05-0.10-0.13
Current Account (in % of GDP) -3.3e-1.7e-4.1-7.6-8.6

Source: IMF – World Economic Outlook Database - October 2021.

Note: (e) Estimated Data


 
Monetary Indicators 20162017201820192020
Comoro Franc (KMF) - Average Annual Exchange Rate For 1 MUR 12.5112.6612.2812.3810.95

Source: World Bank - Latest available data.

 

Main Sectors of Industry

 
Breakdown of Economic Activity By Sector Agriculture Industry Services
Employment By Sector (in % of Total Employment) 34.4 18.8 46.8
Value Added (in % of GDP) 33.1 8.9 53.3
Value Added (Annual % Change) 0.1 2.8 3.2

Source: World Bank - Latest available data.

 

The Active Population in Figures

201820192020
Labour Force 228,821235,265234,861

Source: International Labour Organization, ILOSTAT database

 
201720182019
Total activity rate 46.39%46.47%46.56%
Men activity rate 57.63%57.53%57.43%
Women activity rate 34.97%35.24%35.53%

Source: International Labour Organization, ILOSTAT database

 

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Indicator of Economic Freedom

Definition:

The Economic freedom index measure ten components of economic freedom, grouped into four broad categories or pillars of economic freedom: Rule of Law (property rights, freedom from corruption); Limited Government (fiscal freedom, government spending); Regulatory Efficiency (business freedom, labour freedom, monetary freedom); and Open Markets (trade freedom, investment freedom, financial freedom). Each of the freedoms within these four broad categories is individually scored on a scale of 0 to 100. A country’s overall economic freedom score is a simple average of its scores on the 10 individual freedoms.

Score:
55,7/100
World Rank:
132
Regional Rank:
25

Economic freedom in the world (interactive map)
Source: Index of Economic Freedom, Heritage Foundation

 
 

Country Risk

See the country risk analysis provided by Coface.

 

Indicator of Political Freedom

Definition:

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.

Ranking:
Partly Free
Political Freedom:
3/7

Political freedom in the world (interactive map)
Source: Freedom in the World Report, Freedom House

 

Indicator of Freedom of the Press

Definition:

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.).

World Rank:
84/180

Source: World Press Freedom Index, Reporters Without Borders

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Sources of General Economic Information

Main Online Newspapers and Portals
Comores online (only in French)
Allafrica, Comoros news
Afrol, Comoros news
La Gazette des Comores
Al Watwan
Useful Resources
The official website of the Comoros Union (only in French)
Central Bank of Comoros
 
 

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Latest Update: May 2022