Economy in Saint Lucia

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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—$600 million (1996 est.)

GDP—real growth rate: 0.8% (1996 est.)

GDP—per capita: purchasing power parity—$3 800 (1996 est.)

GDP—composition by sector:

agriculture: 10.7%

industry: 32.3%

services: 57% (1996 est.)

Inflation rate—consumer price index: -2.3% (1996 est.)

Labor force:

total: 43 800

by occupation: agriculture 43.4% services 38.9% industry and commerce 17.7% (1983 est.)

Unemployment rate: 15% (1996 est.)

Budget:

revenues: $155 million

expenditures: $169 million including capital expenditures of $48 million (FY96/97 est.)

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

Industrial production growth rate: 2.8% (1996 est.)

Electricity—capacity: 22 000 kW (1995)

Electricity—production: 110 million kWh (1995)

Electricity—consumption per capita: 705 kWh (1995)

Agriculture—products: bananas coconuts vegetables citrus root crops cocoa

Exports:

total value: $79.5 million (f.o.b. 1996 est.)

commodities: bananas 41% clothing cocoa vegetables fruits coconut oil

partners: UK 50% US 24% Caricom countries 16% (1995)

Imports:

total value: $270.6 million (f.o.b. 1996 est.)

commodities: food 23% manufactured goods 21% machinery and transportation equipment 19% chemicals fuels

partners: US 36% Caricom countries 22% UK 11% Japan 5% Canada 4% (1995)

Debt—external: $131 million (1996)

Economic aid:

recipient: ODA $NA

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

Exchange rates: East Caribbean dollars (EC$) per US$1—2.7000 (fixed rate since 1976)

Fiscal year: 1 April—31 March

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