Ethnic violence since 1993 has limited domestic commerce. Burundi's economy is characterized by subsistence agriculture; commercialization and nationwide distribution of daily necessities and foodstuffs are practically nonexistent. There is a very small manufacturing sector centered in Bujumbura, producing beer, soft drinks, soap, insecticides, textiles, and cigarettes, primarily for local distribution. Rural markets are the principal distribution centers. The National Office of Commerce is a state trading concern. Smaller trading operations are often in the hands of Greeks, Indians, and Arabs. All domestic trade is influenced by the coffee harvest, which during the harvest season (June–September) provides increased income and stimulates trading, with a somewhat inflationary effect.
Business hours are usually 8 AM to noon and 2 to 5 PM on weekdays and 8 AM to noon on Saturday. Banks are open 8 to 11:30 AM Monday–Friday.