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Travel & Tourism . Tourist Guide to the Country

Jamaica Economy




Jamaica    Economy Top of Page
Economy - overview: Key sectors in this island economy are bauxite (alumina and bauxite account for more than half of exports) and tourism. Since assuming office in 1992, Prime Minister PATTERSON has eliminated most price controls, streamlined tax schedules, and privatized government enterprises. Continued tight monetary and fiscal policies have helped slow inflation - although inflationary pressures are mounting - and stabilize the exchange rate, but have resulted in the slowdown of economic growth (moving from 1.5% in 1992 to 0.5% in 1995). In 1996, GDP showed negative growth (-1.4%) and remained negative through 1999. Serious problems include: high interest rates; increased foreign competition; the weak financial condition of business in general resulting in receiverships or closures and downsizings of companies; the shift in investment portfolios to non-productive, short-term high yield instruments; a pressured, sometimes sliding, exchange rate; a widening merchandise trade deficit; and a growing internal debt for government bailouts to various ailing sectors of the economy, particularly the financial sector. Depressed economic conditions in 1999-2000 led to increased civil unrest, including a mounting crime rate. Jamaica's medium-term prospects will depend upon encouraging investment in the productive sectors, maintaining a competitive exchange rate, stabilizing the labor environment, selling off reacquired firms, and implementing proper fiscal and monetary policies.
GDP: purchasing power parity - $9.7 billion (2000 est.)
GDP - real growth rate: 0.2% (2000 est.)
GDP - per capita: purchasing power parity - $3,700 (2000 est.)
GDP - composition by sector: agriculture:  7.4%

industry:  35.2%

services:  57.4% (1999 est.)
Population below poverty line: 34.2% (1992 est.)
Household income or consumption by percentage share: lowest 10%:  2.9%

highest 10%:  28.9% (1996)
Inflation rate (consumer prices): 8.8% (2000 est.)
Labor force: 1.13 million (1998)
Labor force - by occupation: services 60%, agriculture 21%, industry 19% (1998)
Unemployment rate: 16% (2000 est.)
Budget: revenues:  $2.23 billion

expenditures:  $2.56 billion, including capital expenditures of $232.5 million (FY99/00 est.)
Industries: tourism, bauxite, textiles, food processing, light manufactures, rum, cement, metal, paper, chemical products
Industrial production growth rate: -2% (2000 est.)
Electricity - production: 6.53 billion kWh (1999)
Electricity - production by source: fossil fuel:  92.28%

hydro:  1.36%

nuclear:  0%

other:  6.36% (1999)
Electricity - consumption: 6.073 billion kWh (1999)
Electricity - exports: 0 kWh (1999)
Electricity - imports: 0 kWh (1999)
Agriculture - products: sugarcane, bananas, coffee, citrus, potatoes, vegetables; poultry, goats, milk
Exports: $1.7 billion (f.o.b., 2000 est.)
Exports - commodities: alumina, bauxite; sugar, bananas, rum
Exports - partners: US 35.7%, EU (excluding UK) 15.8%, UK 13%, Canada 10.5% (1999)
Imports: $3 billion (f.o.b., 2000 est.)
Imports - commodities: machinery and transport equipment, construction materials, fuel, food, chemicals, fertilizers
Imports - partners: US 47.8%, Caricom countries 12.4%, Latin America 7.2%, EU (excluding UK) 4.7% (1999)
Debt - external: $4.7 billion (2000 est.)
Economic aid - recipient: $102.7 million (1995)
Currency: Jamaican dollar (JMD)
Currency code: JMD
Exchange rates: Jamaican dollars per US dollar - 45.557 (January 2001), 42.701 (2000), 39.044 (1999), 36.550 (1998), 35.404 (1997), 37.120 (1996)
Fiscal year: 1 April - 31 March

 

Countryfacts Information Courtesy: CIA Worldbook








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