Bloomberg News

Congo’s Economy May Be 60% Bigger After Recalculation

October 03, 2011

(Updates with comment from Kamitatu in fourth paragraph.)

Oct. 3 (Bloomberg) -- The Democratic Republic of Congo’s gross domestic product may increase as much as 60 percent after a recalculation of the size of the country’s economy, Planning Minister Olivier Kamitatu said.

The Central African nation is working with the International Monetary Fund to update its statistics and capture the full extent of the country’s economic output, Kamitatu told a mines and infrastructure conference in Kinshasa, the capital, today.

“We’re much closer to $20 billion in real U.S. dollars than the $14 billion” previously announced, he said.

The new GDP figures will attempt to encompass the country’s informal sector and will be an improvement on the country’s method of keeping statistics, which dates back to the 1960s, Kamitatu said.

Only 2 percent of Congolese have formal employment in the private sector, while another 6 percent work in the government’s civil service, including members of the police and army, Kamitatu said. About 90 percent of the country is underemployed and works in the informal sector, he said.

--Editors: Emily Bowers, Antony Sguazzin.

To contact the reporter on this story: Michael J. Kavanagh in Kinshasa at mkavanagh9@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Paul Richardson at pmrichardson@bloomberg.net


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