Burundi fell into a recession in 2020, largely the result of the effects of the COVID–19 pandemic. Real GDP contracted by 3.3%, after growing 4.1% in 2019. The pandemic hit hardest at industry, which saw a 4.5% decline in output, and services, whose output fell 1.8% compared with 2019. On the demand side, investment fell by approximately 3%. A decline in agricultural production combined with rising prices of imported products resulted in a sharp rise in prices. Inflation rose by 8.5 points to 7.6% in 2020, compared with –0.7% in 2019. The budget deficit doubled to 8.7% of GDP in 2020, compared with 4.2% in 2019, as current expenditures shot up about 4%. Because weak global demand caused a 4.4% decline in coffee export prices and a 10.4% decline for tea, trade and current account deficits deteriorated. The current account deficit was 19.1% of GDP compared with a deficit of 17.8% in 2019. That resulted in a reduction in foreign exchange reserves, which could cover less than 30 days of imports at the end of 2020. The exchange rate between the Burundian Franc and the US dollar fell by 3.8% between May 2019 and May 2020. (Download detailed Analysis Source : Report African Economic Outlook 2021 ; AfDB)
At the end of 2016, the banking sector in Burundi represented a total asset of $ 0.95 billion. Credit distributed to businesses represents $0.41 billion and, more broadly, credit to private sector totaling $0.49 billion.