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Jamaica Economy
Economy - overview:
The Jamaican economy is heavily dependent on services, which now account for 70% of GDP. The country continues to derive most of its foreign exchange from tourism, remittances, and bauxite/alumina. The global economic slowdown, particularly after the terrorist attacks in the US on 11 September 2001, stunted economic growth; the economy rebounded moderately in 2003, with one of the best tourist seasons on record. But the economy faces serious long-term problems: high interest rates; increased foreign competition; a pressured, sometimes sliding, exchange rate; a sizable merchandise trade deficit; large-scale unemployment; and a growing internal debt, the result of government bailouts to ailing sectors of the economy. The ratio of debt to GDP is close to 150%. Inflation, previously a bright spot, is expected to remain in the double digits. Depressed economic conditions have led to increased civil unrest, including gang violence fueled by the drug trade. In 2004, the government faces the difficult prospect of having to achieve fiscal discipline in order to maintain debt payments while simultaneously attacking a serious and growing crime problem that is hampering economic growth.
GDP:
purchasing power parity - $10.61 billion (2003 est.)
GDP - real growth rate:
1.9% (2003 est.)
GDP - per capita:
purchasing power parity - $3,900 (2003 est.)
GDP - composition by sector:
agriculture: 6.7%
industry: 37.2%
services: 56.2% (2003 est.)
Investment (gross fixed):
31.6% of GDP (2003)
Population below poverty line:
19.7% (2002 est.)
Household income or consumption by percentage share:
lowest 10%: 2.7%
highest 10%: 30.3% (2000)
Distribution of family income - Gini index:
37.9 (2000)
Inflation rate (consumer prices):
10.3% (2003 est.)
Labor force:
1.13 million (2003)
Labor force - by occupation:
agriculture 21%, industry 19%, services 60% (1998)
Unemployment rate:
15.9% (2003 est.)
Budget:
revenues: $2.596 billion
expenditures: $3.111 billion, including capital expenditures of $236 million (2003 est.)
Public debt:
145.6% of GDP (2003)
Industries:
tourism, bauxite/alumina, textiles, agro processing, wearing apparel, light manufactures, rum, cement, metal, paper, chemical products, telecommunications
Industrial production growth rate:
-2% (2000 est.)
Electricity - production:
6.272 billion kWh (2001)
Electricity - production by source:
fossil fuel: 96.8%
hydro: 1.8%
other: 1.4% (2001)
nuclear: 0%
Electricity - consumption:
5.833 billion kWh (2001)
Electricity - exports:
0 kWh (2001)
Electricity - imports:
0 kWh (2001)
Oil - production:
0 bbl/day (2001 est.)
Oil - consumption:
66,000 bbl/day (2001 est.)
Oil - exports:
NA (2001)
Oil - imports:
NA (2001)
Agriculture - products:
sugarcane, bananas, coffee, citrus, yams, vegetables, poultry, goats, milk, crustaceans, and mollusks
Current account balance:
$-842 million (2003)
Exports:
$1.355 billion f.o.b. (2003 est.)
Exports - commodities:
alumina, bauxite, sugar, bananas, rum, coffee, yams, beverages, chemicals, wearing apparel, mineral fuels
Exports - partners:
US 29.3%, Canada 11.7%, UK 10.8%, France 7.8%, Norway 7%, Germany 6.2%, China 5.9%, Netherlands 4.4% (2003 est.)
Imports:
$3.265 billion f.o.b. (2003 est.)
Imports - commodities:
food and other consumer goods, industrial supplies, fuel, parts and accessories of capital goods, machinery and transport equipment, construction materials
Imports - partners:
US 39.3%, Trinidad and Tobago 9.6%, Germany 5.5%, Venezuela 4.4%, France 4.4%, Japan 4.1% (2003 est.)
Reserves of foreign exchange & gold:
$1.195 billion (2003)
Debt - external:
$4.962 billion (2003 est.)
Economic aid - recipient:
$16 million (2003)
Currency code:
JMD
Fiscal year:
1 April - 31 March
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