CNES attributed the annual decline to a 3.8 per cent contraction in the country’s hydrocarbons output to 146 million tonnes of oil equivalent in 2001, with crude oil and condensate output declining by 3.4 per cent and the production of gas falling by 2.1 per cent.

Inflation soared to 4.2 per cent compared with 0.3 per cent in 2000, due mainly to increased public spending.