[Caribbean Literature]

Economy of St. Lucia

source: CIA World Fact Book 1997

Economy - overview: Though foreign investment in manufacturing and information processing in recent years has increased Saint Lucia's industrial base, the economy remains vulnerable due to its heavy dependence on banana production, which is subject to periodic droughts and tropical storms. Indeed, the destructive effect of Tropical Storm Iris in mid-1995 caused the loss of 20% of the year's banana crop. Increased competition from Latin American bananas will probably further reduce market prices, exacerbating Saint Lucia's need to diversify its economy in coming years, e.g., by further expanding tourism, manufacturing, and construction.

GDP: purchasing power parity - $695 million (1996 est.)

GDP - real growth rate: 4.3% (1996 est.)

GDP - per capita: purchasing power parity - $4,400 (1996 est.)

GDP - composition by sector:

Inflation rate - consumer price index: 3% (1996 est.)

Labor force:

Unemployment rate: 25% (1995 est.)


Industries: clothing, assembly of electronic components, beverages, corrugated cardboard boxes, tourism, lime processing, coconut processing

Electricity - capacity: 34,000 kW (1995)

Electricity - production: NA kWh

Electricity - consumption per capita: 801 kWh (1995 est.)

Agriculture - products: bananas, coconuts, vegetables, citrus, root crops, cocoa

Exports: Imports:

Debt - external: $115 million (1996)

Economic aid:

Currency: 1 EC dollar (EC$) = 100 cents

Exchange rates: East Caribbean dollars (EC$) per US$1 - 2.7000 (February 1997; fixed rate since 1976)

Fiscal year: 1 April - 31 March

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