[Caribbean Literature]

Economy of St. Vincent

source: CIA World Fact Book 1997

Economy - overview: Agriculture, dominated by banana production, is the most important sector of this lower middle income economy. The services sector, based mostly on a growing tourist industry, is also important. The government has been relatively unsuccessful at introducing new industries, and high unemployment rates of 35%-40% continue. The continuing dependence on a single crop represents the biggest obstacle to the islands' development; tropical storms wiped out substantial portions of crops in both 1994 and 1995. The tourism sector has considerable potential for development over the next decade.

GDP: purchasing power parity - $259 million (1996 est.)

GDP - real growth rate: 3% (1996 est.)

GDP - per capita: purchasing power parity - $2,190 (1996 est.)

GDP - composition by sector:

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

Labor force:

Unemployment rate: 35%-40% (1994 est.)


Industries: food processing, cement, furniture, clothing, starch

Electricity - capacity: 20,000 kW (1993)

Electricity - production: 61.6 million kWh (1993)

Electricity - consumption per capita: 480 kWh (1993)

Agriculture - products: bananas, coconuts, sweet potatoes, spices; small numbers of cattle, sheep, pigs, goats; small fish catch used locally

Exports: Imports:

Debt - external: $93 million (1996 est.)

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: calendar year

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