The Central African Republic's frequent deficits in trade and services are financed mainly through international aid. In the early 1980s, the Republic faced a severe balance-of-payments problem caused by low world prices for its exports and high fuel import costs. A structural adjustment program was begun in 1986 (and further developed in 1988 and 1990) to curb the public sector and to promote private-sector investment in an effort to decrease the reliance on infusions of foreign aid. In 1998, the IMF approved a three-year structural adjustment program equivalent to $66 million (subsequently augmented and extended), which expired in 2002.
The US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) reports that in 2000 the purchasing power parity of the Central African Republic's exports was $166 million while imports totaled $154 million resulting in a trade surplus of $12 million.
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) reports that in 1994 the Central African Republic had exports of goods totaling $146 million and imports totaling $131 million. The services credit totaled $33 million and debit $114 million. The following table summarizes the Central African Republic's balance of payments as reported by the IMF for 1994 in millions of US dollars.
|Balance on goods||15|
|Balance on services||-81|
|Balance on income||-23|
|Direct investment abroad||-7|
|Direct investment in Central African Republic||4|
|Portfolio investment assets||…|
|Portfolio investment liabilities||…|
|Other investment assets||8|
|Other investment liabilities||48|
|Net Errors and Omissions||-15|
|Reserves and Related Items||-13|