Niger flag Niger:

Country risk of Niger : Economy

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.

Niger's growth has been particularly resilient to risks spurred by terrorist attacks, low uranium export prices, climate change affecting agriculture and the closure of the border with Nigeria. While GDP growth slowed down to 3.6% in 2020 (IMF) due to the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic, Niger’s economy was among the few that avoided recession. In 2021, economic growth rebounded to 5.4%, and it is expected to further accelerate to 6.6% in 2022 and 10.4% in 2023 (IMF). Economic activity will be boosted by the start of oil exports through a new pipeline to the Benin coast and the continuation of major infrastructure projects (IMF, Coface). Major donor-funded projects and foreign direct investment are important drivers of growth.

In 2021, Niger’s economic activity got back close to pre-pandemic levels. However, public finances that deteriorated during the crisis due to increased health spending and the fall of already low tax revenues remained under pressure. Budget deficit increased from -4.9% GDP in 2020 to -6.8% GDP in 2021 (Coface). It is expected to decline to -5.3% GDP in 2022 thanks to increased revenues from customs duties and taxes and the reduction in wage the bill (Coface). However, military and security spending will continue to fuel fiscal pressures owing to Niger's unstable security situation (Coface). Public debt increased from 45% GDP in 2020 to 48.6% GDP in 2021, and it is expected to further rise to 49.5% GDP in 2022 before declining to 47.4% GDP in 2023 (IMF). As it is mainly external and largely held by multilateral creditors, the risk of debt distress is reduced (Coface). Inflation was stable at 2.9% in 2020 and 2021, and it is expected to decrease to 2.5% in 2022 and 2% in 2023, remaining well below the ECOWAS convergence criterion of 10% (IMF). In December 2021, the IMF approved another three-year arrangement under the Extended Credit Facility support the implementation of the authorities’ reform program. Reforms will focus on ensuring debt sustainability, broadening fiscal space, improving spending quality, increasing governance and fighting against corruption, and addressing constraints to the business environment (IMF). The arrangement is expected to catalyse additional bilateral and multilateral financial support (IMF). The main threat to economic stability is the degraded security situation, because of terrorist groups' activities in the region (Boko Haram, AQMI, Al-Murabitoun).

Niger is one of the world’s poorest countries, and it has one of the highest demographic growth rates. Insecurity worsened by Boko Haram attacks led to a major humanitarian crisis. UNHCR counts more than 350,000 refugees and displaced persons in Niger. In 2020, the country still ranked last (189th) in the world in terms of human development. World Bank estimated that official unemployment rate in Niger was around 0.6% in 2020.

 

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.

 
 
Country Risk
See the country risk analysis provided by Coface.
Main Online Newspapers
Allafrica, Niger News
Niger News Sites
BBC Country Profile, Niger
Useful Resources
Ministry of Finance
List of Ministries in Niger
Ministry of Agriculture
Ministry of Energy
Central Bank of West African States

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Latest Update: October 2022