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In 2016, real GDP grew by 3.5% down from 3.8% recorded the previous year on account of lower oil price. The non-oil and gas industry accounted for no more than 5% of GDP in 2016, compared with 35% at the end of the 1980s, so the authorities are looking towards a re-industrialisation of the country.

The current account showed a deficit of 13.5% of GDP in 2016, compared with a deficit of 16.60% in 2015 while official exchange reserves fell by 20% to US$114 billion at the end of 2016. This outcome results from the trade balance deficits of 10.8% in 2016 and 8.4% in 2015, a year in which the trade balance turned negative for the first time in 16 years, another direct result of the fall in the price of oil.

Algeria is the 52nd largest export economy in the world, the 47th largest importer, and the 105th most complex economy, according to the Economic Complexity Index (ECI). In 2015, Algeria exported $37.7 billion and imported $52.4 billion, resulting in a negative trade balance of $14.7 billion, as compared to their trade balance in 1995 when they still had a negative trade balance of $2.89 billion in net imports.

During the last five years, exports have decreased at an annualized rate of -9.1%, from $59.9 billion in 2010 to $37.7 billion in 2015. The most recent exports are led by Petroleum Gas which represent 41.7% of the total exports of Algeria, followed by Crude Petroleum, which account for 32.8%. During the last five years, imports have increased at an annualized rate of 4.2%, from $42.4 billion in 2010 to $52.4 billion in 2015. The most recent imports are led by Wheat which represent 4.22% of the total imports of Algeria, followed by Cars, which account for 3.87%

Over the last 30 years Algeria has de-industrialised. In 2015 manufacturing industry, excluding hydrocarbons, accounted for no more than 5% of GDP, compared with 35% at the end of the 1980s. The private sector is predominant in leather and footwear (90%); textiles (87%); agrifood (87%); chemicals, rubber and plastics (78% including pharmaceuticals); and construction materials (52%). The country has almost 2.7 million entrepreneurs, of whom 16% work in industry. Entrepreneurs have become indispensable partners of the state, which consults them in the setting of the Tripartite, a national discussion forum where the main government policy orientations and decisions are debated.

In July 2016, the government adopted a new economic growth plan (2016-30) focusing on the private sector and a three year budget stabilisation strategy.

Sources: African Economic Outlook and OEC

Last updated: September 2017

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