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Jamaica Economy: from the All Country Info reference guide to country facts

Jamaica Economy

Jamaica Economy: A summary of information about Jamaica Economy, from government research data as well as independent research and other sources.

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Jamaica: Economy

Economy - overview
Key sectors in this island economy are bauxite
(alumina and bauxite account for more than half of exports) and
tourism. Since assuming office in 1992, Prime Minister PATTERSON has
eliminated most price controls, streamlined tax schedules, and
privatized government enterprises. Continued tight monetary and fiscal
policies have helped slow inflation - although inflationary pressures
are mounting - and stabilize the exchange rate, but have resulted in
the slowdown of economic growth (moving from 1.5% in 1992 to 0.5% in
1995). In 1996, GDP showed negative growth (-1.4%) and remained
negative through 1999. Serious problems include: high interest rates;
increased foreign competition; the weak financial condition of
business in general resulting in receiverships or closures and
downsizings of companies; the shift in investment portfolios to
non-productive, short-term high yield instruments; a pressured,
sometimes sliding, exchange rate; a widening merchandise trade
deficit; and a growing internal debt for government bailouts to
various ailing sectors of the economy, particularly the financial
sector. Depressed economic conditions in 1999 led to increased civil
unrest, including a mounting crime rate. Jamaica's medium-term
prospects will depend upon encouraging investment in the productive
sectors, maintaining a competitive exchange rate, stabilizing the
labor environment, selling off reacquired firms, and implementing
proper fiscal and monetary policies.
GDP
purchasing power parity - $8.8 billion (1999 est.)
GDP - real growth rate
-0.5% (1999 est.)
GDP - per capita
purchasing power parity - $3,350 (1999 est.)
GDP - composition by sector
agriculture: 7.4%
industry: 42.1%
services: 50.5% (1997 est.)
Population below poverty line
34.2% (1992 est.)
Household income or consumption by percentage share
lowest 10%: 2.4%
highest 10%: 31.9% (1991)
Inflation rate (consumer prices)
9.4% (1999 est.)
Labor force
1.13 million (1998)
Labor force - by occupation
services 60%, agriculture 21%, industry
19% (1998)
Unemployment rate
15.5% (1998)
Budget
revenues: $2.27 billion
expenditures: $3.66 billion, including capital expenditures of $1.265
billion (FY98/99 est.)
Industries
tourism, bauxite, textiles, food processing, light
manufactures, rum, cement, metal, paper, chemical products
Industrial production growth rate
NA%
Electricity - production
6.386 billion kWh (1998)
Electricity - production by source
fossil fuel: 92.7%
hydro: 2.21%
nuclear: 0%
other: 5.09% (1998)
Electricity - consumption
5.939 billion kWh (1998)
Electricity - exports
0 kWh (1998)
Electricity - imports
0 kWh (1998)
Agriculture - products
sugarcane, bananas, coffee, citrus, potatoes,
vegetables; poultry, goats, milk
Exports
$1.4 billion (f.o.b., 1999 est.)
Exports - commodities
alumina, bauxite, sugar, bananas, rum
Exports - partners
US 39.5%, EU (excluding UK) 15.6%, UK 12.1%,
Canada 11.5% (1998)
Imports
$2.7 billion (f.o.b., 1999 est.)
Imports - commodities
machinery and transport equipment, construction
materials, fuel, food, chemicals, fertilizers
Imports - partners
US 50.9%, EU (excluding UK) 9.5%, Caricom
countries 10.4%, Latin America 6% (1998)
Debt - external
$3.8 billion (1998 est.)
Economic aid - recipient
$102.7 million (1995)
Currency
1 Jamaican dollar (J$) = 100 cents
Exchange rates
Jamaican dollars (J$) per US$1 - 41.139 (December
1999), 9.044 (1999), 36.550 (1998), 35.404 (1997), 37.120 (1996),
35.142 (1995)
Fiscal year
1 April - 31 March
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