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Economy of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines

Economy - overview: Agriculture, dominated by banana production, is the most important sector of this lower-middle-income economy. The services sector, based mostly on a growing tourist industry, is also important. The government has been relatively unsuccessful at introducing new industries, and a high unemployment rate of 22% continues. The continuing dependence on a single crop represents the biggest obstacle to the islands' development; tropical storms wiped out substantial portions of crops in both 1994 and 1995. The tourism sector has considerable potential for development over the next decade. Recent growth has been stimulated by strong activity in the construction sector and an improvement in tourism. There is a small manufacturing sector and a small offshore financial sector whose particularly restrictive secrecy laws have caused some international concern.

GDP: purchasing power parity - $309 million (1999 est.)

GDP - real growth rate: 4% (1999 est.)

GDP - per capita: purchasing power parity - $2,600 (1999 est.)

GDP - composition by sector:
agriculture: 10.6%
industry: 17.5%
services: 71.9% (1996 est.)

Population below poverty line: NA%

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

Inflation rate (consumer prices): 2% (1999 est.)

Labor force: 67,000 (1984 est.)

Labor force - by occupation: agriculture 26%, industry 17%, services 57% (1980 est.)

Unemployment rate: 22% (1997 est.)

Budget:
revenues: $85.7 million
expenditures: $98.6 million, including capital expenditures of $25.7 million (1997 est.)

Industries: food processing, cement, furniture, clothing, starch

Industrial production growth rate: -0.9% (1997 est.)

Electricity - production: 64 million kWh (1998)

Electricity - production by source:
fossil fuel: 67.19%
hydro: 32.81%
nuclear: 0%
other: 0% (1998)

Electricity - consumption: 60 million kWh (1998)

Electricity - exports: 0 kWh (1998)

Electricity - imports: 0 kWh (1998)

Agriculture - products: bananas, coconuts, sweet potatoes, spices; small numbers of cattle, sheep, pigs, goats; fish

Exports: $47.8 million (1998 est.)

Exports - commodities: bananas 39%, eddoes and dasheen (taro), arrowroot starch, tennis racquets

Exports - partners: Caricom countries 49%, United Kingdom 16%, United States 10% (1995)

Imports: $180 million (1998 est.)

Imports - commodities: foodstuffs, machinery and equipment, chemicals and fertilizers, minerals and fuels

Imports - partners: US 36%, Caricom countries 28%, UK 13% (1995)

Debt - external: $83.6 million (1997)

Economic aid - recipient: $47.5 million (1995); note - EU $34.5 million (1998)

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 Vincent and the Grenadines



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