CIA Factbook: Jamaica Economy (Jamaica)

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Jamaica Overview

CIA Factbook: Jamaica Economy

Published Mar 1, 2009

Economy - overview:   
The Jamaican economy is heavily dependent on services, which now account for more than 60% of GDP. The country continues to derive most of its foreign exchange from tourism, remittances, and bauxite/alumina. Remittances account for nearly 20% of GDP and are equivalent to tourism revenues. Jamaica's economy, already saddled with the lowest economic growth in Latin America, will face increasing difficulties as the global economy slows. The economy faces serious long-term problems: a sizable merchandise trade deficit, large-scale unemployment and underemployment, and a debt-to-GDP ratio of almost 130%. Jamaica's onerous debt burden - the fourth highest per capita - is the result of government bailouts to ailing sectors of the economy, most notably the financial sector in the mid-to-late 1990s. It hinders government spending on infrastructure and social programs as debt servicing accounts for nearly half of government expenditures. Inflation rose sharply in 2008 as a result of high prices for imported food and oil and should fall in 2009 with the decline in international oil prices. High unemployment exacerbates the serious crime problem, including gang violence that is fueled by the drug trade. The GOLDING administration faces the difficult prospect of having to achieve fiscal discipline in order to maintain debt payments while simultaneously attacking a serious and growing crime problem that is hampering economic growth.
 
GDP (purchasing power parity):   
$20.91 billion (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 120
$21.04 billion (2007 est.)
$20.74 billion (2006 est.)
note: data are in 2008 US dollars
 
GDP (official exchange rate):   
$14.4 billion (2008 est.)
 
GDP - real growth rate:   
-0.6% (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 205
1.4% (2007 est.)
2.7% (2006 est.)
 
GDP - per capita (PPP):   
$7,500 (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 123
$7,600 (2007 est.)
$7,500 (2006 est.)
note: data are in 2008 US dollars
 
GDP - composition by sector:   
agriculture: 5.2%
industry: 32.6%
services: 62.2% (2008 est.)
 
Labor force:   
1.304 million (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 135 
 
Labor force - by occupation:   
agriculture: 17%
industry: 19%
services: 64% (2006)
 
Unemployment rate:   
11% (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 132
9.9% (2007 est.)
 
Population below poverty line:   
14.8% (2003 est.)
 
Household income or consumption by percentage share:   
lowest 10%: 2.1%
highest 10%: 35.8% (2004)
 
Distribution of family income - Gini index:   
45.5 (2004)
country comparison to the world: 42
37.9 (2000)
 
Investment (gross fixed):   
26.5% of GDP (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 41 
 
Budget:   
revenues: $3.794 billion
expenditures: $4.829 billion (2008 est.)
 
Public debt:   
109.6% of GDP (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 4
146.1% of GDP (2004 est.)
 
Inflation rate (consumer prices):   
22% (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 208
9.5% (2007 est.)
 
Commercial bank prime lending rate:   
NA% (31 December 2008)
country comparison to the world: 28
17.2% (31 December 2007)
 
Stock of money:   
$NA (31 December 2008)
country comparison to the world: 107
$1.369 billion (31 December 2007)
 
Stock of quasi money:   
$NA (31 December 2008)
country comparison to the world: 83
$4.54 billion (31 December 2007)
 
Stock of domestic credit:   
$NA (31 December 2008)
country comparison to the world: 94
$6.609 billion (31 December 2007)
 
Market value of publicly traded shares:   
$7.513 billion (31 December 2008)
country comparison to the world: 72
$12.33 billion (31 December 2007)
$12.28 billion (31 December 2006)
 
Agriculture - products:   
sugarcane, bananas, coffee, citrus, yams, ackees, vegetables; poultry, goats, milk; crustaceans, mollusks
 
Industries:   
tourism, bauxite/alumina, agro processing, light manufactures, rum, cement, metal, paper, chemical products, telecommunications
 
Industrial production growth rate:   
-0.5% (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 136 
 
Electricity - production:   
7.04 billion kWh (2006 est.)
country comparison to the world: 102 
 
Electricity - consumption:   
6.1 billion kWh (2006 est.)
country comparison to the world: 102 
 
Electricity - exports:   
0 kWh (2007 est.)
 
Electricity - imports:   
0 kWh (2007 est.)
 
Oil - production:   
0 bbl/day (2005 est.)
country comparison to the world: 152 
 
Oil - consumption:   
73,370 bbl/day (2006 est.)
country comparison to the world: 86 
 
Oil - exports:   
1,535 bbl/day (2005)
country comparison to the world: 118 
 
Oil - imports:   
71,280 bbl/day (2005)
country comparison to the world: 77 
 
Oil - proved reserves:   
0 bbl (1 January 2006 est.)
country comparison to the world: 180 
 
Natural gas - production:   
0 cu m (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 174 
 
Natural gas - consumption:   
0 cu m (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 171 
 
Natural gas - exports:   
0 cu m (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 75 
 
Natural gas - imports:   
0 cu m (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 157 
 
Natural gas - proved reserves:   
0 cu m (1 January 2006 est.)
country comparison to the world: 164 
 
Current account balance:   
-$2.893 billion (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 149
-$1.744 billion (2007 est.)
 
Exports:   
$2.602 billion (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 125
$2.226 billion (2007 est.)
 
Exports - commodities:   
alumina, bauxite, sugar, rum, coffee, yams, beverages, chemicals, wearing apparel, mineral fuels
 
Exports - partners:   
US 30.8%, Canada 13.2%, Netherlands 9.8%, UK 9.2%, France 6.7%, Russia 6.6%, Germany 5.5% (2008)
 
Imports:   
$7.185 billion (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 101
$5.789 billion (2007 est.)
 
Imports - commodities:   
food and other consumer goods, industrial supplies, fuel, parts and accessories of capital goods, machinery and transport equipment, construction materials
 
Imports - partners:   
US 34.7%, Trinidad and Tobago 14.4%, Grenada 9.7%, Venezuela 9.5%, Brazil 4.1% (2008)
 
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold:   
$1.77 billion (31 December 2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 112
$1.879 billion (31 December 2007 est.)
 
Debt - external:   
$10.2 billion (31 December 2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 84
$9.657 billion (31 December 2007 est.)
 
Exchange rates:   
Jamaican dollars (JMD) per US dollar - 72.236 (2008 est.), 69.034 (2007), 65.768 (2006), 62.51 (2005), 61.197 (2004)

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