Sierra Leone - Money

The value of the leone has been declining since the early 1980s. The leone was formerly linked to the pound sterling. Its value is now determined largely by the export earnings of the country. Since the country does not earn a great deal from its external trade, the IMF and the World Bank constantly encourage the country to reduce government spending in order to maintain a balanced budget. The Sierra Leone economy has undergone several IMF economic and financial policies aimed at improving the value of the leone in relation to other currencies of the world. A stronger leone is supposed to translate into a stronger economy. However, the outcome has often been high inflation (a weak currency in terms of exchange rates ) and a great deal of leone fluctuations, mostly downwards.

Exchange rates: Sierra Leone
leones (Le) per US$1
Jan 2001 1,653.39
2000 2,092.13
1999 1,804.20
1998 1,563.62
1997 981.48
1996 920.73
SOURCE: CIA World Factbook 2001 [ONLINE].

GDP per Capita (US$)
Country 1975 1980 1985 1990 1998
Sierra Leone 316 320 279 279 150
United States 19,364 21,529 23,200 25,363 29,683
Nigeria 301 314 230 258 256
Dem. Rep. of Congo 392 313 293 247 127
SOURCE: United Nations. Human Development Report 2000; Trends in human development and per capita income.

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