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Algeria economy grew 5.1 pct in 2005 - central bank

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  • Algeria economy grew 5.1 pct in 2005 - central bank

    Algeria's economy grew by 5.1 percent last year, after expanding at an average rate of 5.0 percent over the previous four years, figures released on Friday by the central bank showed.

    The growth engine was the hydrocarbons sector, which expanded by 5.8 percent, Banque d'Algerie said. It was the first time the government has issued annual growth figures so early in the year.

    The OPEC member's energy revenues reached $45.49 billion in 2005, up from an estimated $31.55 billion in 2004 and $23.99 billion in 2003.

    Oil prices leapt by an estimated 42 percent and output climbed by 5.7 percent.

    Energy was by far the biggest component of Algeria's exports -- non-hydrocarbon exports reached $0.79 billion last year, up from $0.67 billion in 2004 and $0.47 billion in 2003.

    The government has launched an $80 billion, five-year plan to spur economic growth, restore the country's infrastructure and create much-needed jobs, backed by foreign exchange reserves of more than $60 billion.

    The non-hydrocarbons sector grew 4.7 percent last year, with housing and public works expanding 7.1 percent and the services industry 5.6 percent, the bank said.

    But it voiced concern over the health of Algeria's non-energy export industries.

    "The structural weakness of exports outside of hydrocarbons raises the issue of the external competitiveness of our economy," Banque d'Algerie said.

    Inflation slowed to 1.6 percent in 2005 from 3.6 percent in 2004 and 2.6 percent in 2003.

    Imports reached $19.57 billion in 2005 in comparison with $17.95 billion in 2004.

    Algeria economy grew 5.1 pct in 2005 - central bank