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Economy of Saint Kitts and Nevis

Economy - overview: The economy has traditionally depended on the growing and processing of sugar cane; decreasing world prices have hurt the industry in recent years. Tourism, export-oriented manufacturing, and offshore banking activity have assumed larger roles. Most food is imported. The government has undertaken a program designed to revitalize the faltering sugar sector. It is also working to improve revenue collection in order to better fund social programs. In 1997 some leaders in Nevis were urging separation from Saint Kitts on the basis that Nevis was paying far more in taxes than it was receiving in government services, but the vote on cessation failed in August 1998. In late September 1998, Hurricane Georges caused approximately $445 million in damages and limited GDP growth for the year.

GDP: purchasing power parity - $244 million (1998 est.)

GDP - real growth rate: 1.6% (1998 est.)

GDP - per capita: purchasing power parity - $6,000 (1998 est.)

GDP - composition by sector:
agriculture: 5.5%
industry: 22.5%
services: 72% (1996)

Population below poverty line: NA%

Household income or consumption by percentage share:
lowest 10%: NA%
highest 10%: NA%

Inflation rate (consumer prices): 1% (1998 est.)

Labor force: 18,172 (June 1995)

Labor force - by occupation: NA

Unemployment rate: 4.5% (1997)

revenues: $64.1 million
expenditures: $73.3 million, including capital expenditures of $10.4 million (1997 est.)

Industries: sugar processing, tourism, cotton, salt, copra, clothing, footwear, beverages

Industrial production growth rate: NA%

Electricity - production: 85 million kWh (1998)

Electricity - production by source:
fossil fuel: 100%
hydro: 0%
nuclear: 0%
other: 0% (1998)

Electricity - consumption: 79 million kWh (1998)

Electricity - exports: 0 kWh (1998)

Electricity - imports: 0 kWh (1998)

Agriculture - products: sugarcane, rice, yams, vegetables, bananas; fish

Exports: $42 million (1998)

Exports - commodities: machinery, food, electronics, beverages, tobacco

Exports - partners: United States 68.5%, United Kingdom 22.3%, Caricom countries 5.5% (1995 est.)

Imports: $160 million (1998)

Imports - commodities: machinery, manufactures, food, fuels

Imports - partners: United States 42.4%, Caricom countries 17.2%, United Kingdom 11.3% (1995 est.)

Debt - external: $62 million (1997)

Economic aid - recipient: $5.5 million (1995)

Currency: 1 East Caribbean dollar (EC$) = 100 cents

Exchange rates: East Caribbean dollars (EC$) per US$1 - 2.7000 (fixed rate since 1976)

Fiscal year: calendar year

See also : Saint Kitts and Nevis

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