Economy in Virgin Islands

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Economy—overview: Tourism is the primary economic activity accounting for more than 70% of GDP and 70% of employment. The islands normally host 2 million visitors a year. The number of US tourists in the first five months of 1996 was down by 55% from the same period in 1995 the lingering result of the fierce hurricanes of 1995. Unemployment rose sharply in 1996. The manufacturing sector consists of textile electronics pharmaceutical and watch assembly plants. The agricultural sector is small most food being imported. International business and financial services are a small but growing component of the economy. One of the world's largest petroleum refineries is at Saint Croix. A major economic problem at the beginning of 1997 was the more than $1 billion in governmental arrears in income tax refunds payments to vendors and overdue wages.

GDP: purchasing power parity—$1.2 billion (1987 est.)

GDP—real growth rate: NA%

GDP—per capita: purchasing power parity—$12 500 (1987 est.)

GDP—composition by sector:

agriculture: NA%

industry: NA%

services: NA%

Inflation rate—consumer price index: NA%

Labor force:

total: 47 443 (1990 est.)

by occupation: agriculture 1% industry 20% services 62% other 17% (1990)

Unemployment rate: 6.2% (March 1994)


revenues: $364.4 million

expenditures: $364.4 million including capital expenditures of $NA (1990 est.)

Industries: tourism petroleum refining watch assembly rum distilling construction pharmaceuticals textiles electronics

Industrial production growth rate: NA%

Electricity—capacity: 316 million kW (1995)

Electricity—production: 1 billion kWh (1995)

Electricity—consumption per capita: 10 285 kWh (1995)

Agriculture—products: truck garden products fruit vegetables sorghum; Senepol cattle


total value: $1.8 billion (f.o.b. 1992)

commodities: refined petroleum products

partners: US Puerto Rico


total value: $2.2 billion (c.i.f. 1992)

commodities: crude oil foodstuffs consumer goods building materials

partners: US Puerto Rico

Debt—external: $NA

Economic aid: $NA

Currency: 1 United States dollar (US$) = 100 cents

Exchange rates: US currency is used

Fiscal year: 1 October—30 September

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