[Caribbean Literature]

Economy of Jamaica

source: CIA World Fact Book 1997

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 consolidated the market-oriented reforms initiated by his predecessor, Michael MANLEY, to make Jamaica a regional leader in economic reform. PATTERSON has eliminated most price controls, streamlined tax schedules, and privatized government enterprises. Tight monetary and fiscal policies under an IMF program have helped slow inflation and stabilize the exchange rate, but, as a result, economic growth has slowed down and unemployment remains high. Jamaica's medium-term prospects depend largely on its ability to continue to attract foreign capital and to limit speculation against the Jamaican dollar.

GDP: purchasing power parity - $8.4 billion (1996 est.)

GDP - real growth rate: 0.5% (1996 est.)

GDP - per capita: purchasing power parity - $3,260 (1996 est.)

GDP - composition by sector:

Inflation rate - consumer price index: 17% (1996 est.)

Labor force:

Unemployment rate: 15.4% (1994 est.)


Industries: bauxite, tourism, textiles, food processing, light manufactures

Industrial production growth rate: NA%

Electricity - capacity: 848,400 kW (1995)

Electricity - production: 5.829 billion kWh (1995)

Electricity - consumption per capita: 2,014 kWh (1995 est.)

Agriculture - products: sugarcane, bananas, coffee, citrus, potatoes, vegetables; poultry, goats, milk

Exports: Imports:

Debt - external: $4.2 billion (1995)

Economic aid:

Currency: 1 Jamaican dollar (J$) = 100 cents

Exchange rates: Jamaican dollars (J$) per US$1 - 34.952 (December 1996), 37.120 (1996), 35.142 (1995), 33.086 (1994), 24.949 (1993), 22.960 (1992)

Fiscal year: 1 April - 31 March

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