[Caribbean Literature]

Economy of The Bahamas

source: CIA World Fact Book 1997

Economy - overview: The Bahamas is a stable, developing nation with an economy heavily dependent on tourism and offshore banking. Tourism alone accounts for more than 50% of GDP and directly or indirectly employs 40% of the archipelago's labor force. A slowdown in the expansion of the tourism sector - especially stopover travel from Europe - led to a reduction in the country's GDP growth rate in 1995, down to an estimated 2% from 3.5% in 1994. The construction sector benefited from hotel rehabilitation and the government's ongoing housing development program. Earnings from exports of vegetable and citrus production have been decreasing since 1993 but were expected to increase in 1996 due to storm damage to crops in Florida. Overall growth prospects in the short run will depend heavily on the fortunes of the tourism sector and continued income growth in the US, which accounts for the majority of tourist visits.

GDP: purchasing power parity - $4.8 billion (1995 est.)

GDP - real growth rate: 2% (1995 est.)

GDP - per capita: purchasing power parity - $18,700 (1995 est.)

GDP - composition by sector:

Inflation rate - consumer price index: 2.1% (1995)

Labor force:

Unemployment rate: 15% (1995 est.)


Industries: tourism, banking, cement, oil refining and transshipment, salt production, rum, aragonite, pharmaceuticals, spiral-welded steel pipe

Electricity - capacity: 267,000 kW (1993)

Electricity - production: 874 million kWh (1993)

Electricity - consumption per capita: 2,717 kWh (1993)

Agriculture - products: citrus, vegetables; poultry

Exports: Imports:

Debt - external: $393 million (1995)

Economic aid: $NA

Currency: 1 Bahamian dollar (B$) = 100 cents

Exchange rates: Bahamian dollar (B$) per US$1 - 1.00 (February 1997; fixed rate)

Fiscal year: 1 July - 30 June

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