Economy in Barbados

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Economy—overview: Historically the Barbadian economy had been dependent on sugarcane cultivation and related activities but production in recent years has diversified into manufacturing and tourism. The start of the Port Charles Marina project in Speightstown helped the tourism industry continue to expand in 1996-97. The government continues its efforts to reduce the unacceptably high unemployment rate encourage direct foreign investment and privatize remaining state-owned enterprises.

GDP: purchasing power parity—$4.15 billion (2002 est.)

GDP—real growth rate: -2.8% (2002 est.)

GDP—per capita: purchasing power parity—$15 000(2002 est.)

GDP—composition by sector:

agriculture: 6%

industry: 16%

services: 78% (2000 est.)

Inflation rate—consumer price index: -0.6% (2002 est.)

Labor force:

total: 128 500(2002 est.)

by occupation: services 75% industry 15% agriculture 10% (1996 est.)

Unemployment rate: 10% (2001 est.)


revenues: $847 million including capital expenditures of $80 million (FY96/97 est.)

expenditures: $886 million, including capital expenditures of $NA (2000 est.)

Industries: tourism sugar light manufacturing component assembly for export

Industrial production growth rate: -3.2% (2000 est.)

Electricity—production: 780 million kWh (2001)

Agriculture—products: sugarcane vegetables cotton


total value: $227 million (2002) 

commodities: sugar and molasses rum other foods and beverages chemicals electrical components clothing

partners: US 14.7%, Trinidad and Tobago 12%, UK 10.6%, Jamaica 6.2%, Saint Lucia 4.7% (2002) 


total value: $987 million (2002)

commodities: consumer goods machinery foodstuffs construction materials chemicals fuel electrical components

partners: US 41.1%, Trinidad and Tobago 17%, UK 7.3%, Japan 4.2% (2002) 

Debt—external: $692 million (2002)

Economic aid: $NA

Currency: 1 Barbadian dollar (Bds$) = 100 cents

Exchange rates: Barbadian dollars (Bds$) per US$1—2.0000 (fixed rate pegged to the dollar)

Fiscal year: 1 April—31 March

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