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Economy of Saint Lucia

Economy - overview: The recent changes in the European Union import preference regime and the increased competition from Latin American bananas have made economic diversification increasingly important in Saint Lucia. Improvement in the construction sector and growth of the tourism industry helped expand GDP in 1998-99. The agriculture sector registered its fifth year of decline in 1997 primarily because of a severe decline in banana production. The manufacturing sector is the most diverse in the Eastern Caribbean, and the government is beginning to develop regulations for the small offshore financial sector.

GDP: purchasing power parity - $656 million (1998 est.)

GDP - real growth rate: 2.9% (1998 est.)

GDP - per capita: purchasing power parity - $4,300 (1998 est.)

GDP - composition by sector:
agriculture: 10.7%
industry: 32.3%
services: 57% (1996 est.)

Population below poverty line: NA%

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

Inflation rate (consumer prices): 3.7% (1998 est.)

Labor force: 43,800

Labor force - by occupation: agriculture 43.4%, services 38.9%, industry and commerce 17.7% (1983 est.)

Unemployment rate: 15% (1996 est.)

Budget:
revenues: $141.2 million
expenditures: $146.7 million, including capital expenditures of $25.1 million (FY97/98 est.)

Industries: clothing, assembly of electronic components, beverages, corrugated cardboard boxes, tourism, lime processing, coconut processing

Industrial production growth rate: -8.9% (1997 est.)

Electricity - production: 110 million kWh (1998)

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

Electricity - consumption: 102 million kWh (1998)

Electricity - exports: 0 kWh (1998)

Electricity - imports: 0 kWh (1998)

Agriculture - products: bananas, coconuts, vegetables, citrus, root crops, cocoa

Exports: $75 million (1998)

Exports - commodities: bananas 41%, clothing, cocoa, vegetables, fruits, coconut oil

Exports - partners: United Kingdom 50%, United States 24%, Caricom countries 16% (1995)

Imports: $290 million (1998)

Imports - commodities: food 23%, manufactured goods 21%, machinery and transportation equipment 19%, chemicals, fuels

Imports - partners: United States 36%, Caricom countries 22%, United Kingdom 11%, Japan 5%, Canada 4% (1995)

Debt - external: $135 million (1998)

Economic aid - recipient: $51.8 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: 1 April - 31 March

See also : Saint Lucia



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