Financial Sector Overview
Benin's economy relies heavily on agriculture and informal trade in re-export and transit to Nigeria, which accounts for about 20 percent of GDP. This informality, the main characteristic of the Beninese economy, concerns 90% of the active population. Real GDP growth has increased from 4% in 2016 to around 5.5% in 2017. The recent economic performance is largely the result of the reforms undertaken as part of the 2016-2021Government Action Plan, aimed at increasing public investment in productive sectors such as infrastructure, agriculture, tourism and basic services. The significant increases in agricultural production, particularly in the cotton sector, the rise in electricity production and the economic recovery in Nigeria, which technically came out of recession in the third quarter of 2017, also contributed to rebound of economic activity. The country remains vulnerable to exogenous shocks, mainly weather conditions, prices of agricultural and extractive raw materials (cotton and oil) and the economic situation of its main trading partner, Nigeria.