Democratic Republic of Congo flag Democratic Republic of Congo: Economic outline

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 Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) possesses two-thirds of Africa's tropical forests, has a rich subsoil and a significant hydroelectric potential. The economy has suffered political conflicts over the past two decades. In 2022, the economy grew 6.1%, mainly driven by an increase in mining sector investment and exports. In 2023 and 2024, mining should remain the main contributor to the country's growth, with GDP being expected to reach 6.7% and 6.9%, respectively.

The economy of the DRC is mainly based on extractive industries, which are very dependent on world prices and international economic dynamics. The country's economy is therefore fragile and vulnerable to shocks. In 2023, with copper and cobalt prices expected to remain high, production and exports are set to increase in the coming years, which should continue to benefit the economy as a whole. In 2022, inflation decreased to 8.4%, thanks to a relatively more stable Congolese franc. However, inflation should increase to 9.8% in 2023, before decreasing to 5.6% in 2024. The debt-to-GDP ratio decreased in 2021, to 14.7%, and it further decrease in the coming years, reaching 10.8% in 2023 and 9% in 2024. Although the pandemic has significantly impacted the Congolese economy, the country has been recovering, with the government implementing measures to counteract the economic crisis resulting from it. However, although a relatively low inflation and a robust recovery plan have bolstered private consumption in the country, its contribution to growth was constrained by the large share of the population living below the poverty line.

The DRC is one of the poorest countries in the world, with 70% of the population living in extreme poverty (World Bank, 2020). It is among the lowest-ranked in the human development index and violence is frequent, especially in the east of the country. According to the latest data from the World Bank, in 2021, the unemployment rate in the country stood at 22.2% - a slight decrease from the previous year, when that rate was 22.5%. However, among the employed share of the population, a high percentage of workers have informal jobs.

 
Main Indicators 20222023 (E)2024 (E)2025 (E)2026 (E)
GDP (billions USD) 65.7867.5173.2981.1989.56
GDP (Constant Prices, Annual % Change) 8.96.74.75.35.3
GDP per Capita (USD) 680675710762814
General Government Gross Debt (in % of GDP) 14.513.311.19.17.5
Inflation Rate (%) n/a19.110.67.17.0
Current Account (billions USD) -3.45-4.08-3.87-2.71-2.62
Current Account (in % of GDP) -5.3-6.0-5.3-3.3-2.9

Source: IMF – World Economic Outlook Database, 2016

Note: (e) Estimated Data

 
Monetary Indicators 20162017201820192020
Congolese Franc (CDF) - Average Annual Exchange Rate For 1 ZAR 68.68110.10122.41114.43112.36

Source: World Bank, 2015

 

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Latest Update: December 2023