Guinea is a member of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS). Unusual for a former French colony, Guinea did not join the Franc Zone at independence. The exchange rate remained virtually unchanged from independence in 1958 until 1985 at around GF20-25:US$1 but had depreciated substantially to GF1,940:US$1 in 2001.
Since 1985, economic liberalization measures and a tight monetary policy have been undertaken, as advocated by the IMF and World Bank, and by the late 1990s Guinea had succeeded in reducing the rate of inflation, increasing foreign exchange reserves , and raising private investment. Fiscal reform and the elimination of administrative inefficiency and corruption are ongoing concerns.
Consumer inflation has run in single figures since 1992 (but stood at 72 percent in 1986) and this fact is mainly due to low price rises for local goods and necessities, a fall in the price of imported rice, and the tight monetary policy of the government. The inflation rate was estimated to be 4.5 percent in 1999.