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Barbados: Economy#

Barbados is the wealthiest and most developed country in the Eastern Caribbean and enjoys one of the highest per capita incomes in the region. Historically, the Barbadian economy was dependent on sugarcane cultivation and related activities. However, in recent years the economy has diversified into light industry and tourism with about four-fifths of GDP and of exports being attributed to services. Offshore finance and information services are important foreign exchange earners and thrive from having the same time zone as eastern US financial centers and a relatively highly educated workforce. Barbados' tourism, financial services, and construction industries have been hard hit since the onset of the global economic crisis in 2008. Barbados' public debt-to-GDP ratio rose from 56% in 2008 to 101% in 2015. Growth prospects are limited because of a weak tourism outlook and planned austerity measures.

Economic Facts#

GDP (purchasing power parity)$4.804 billion (2016 est.)
$4.724 billion (2015 est.)
$4.682 billion (2014 est.)
note: data are in 2016 dollars
GDP (official exchange rate)$4.473 billion (2015 est.)
GDP - real growth rate1.7% (2016 est.)
0.9% (2015 est.)
0.2% (2014 est.)
GDP - per capita (PPP)$17,200 (2016 est.)
$16,900 (2015 est.)
$16,800 (2014 est.)
note: data are in 2016 dollars
Gross national saving9.1% of GDP (2016 est.)
6.8% of GDP (2015 est.)
3.1% of GDP (2014 est.)
GDP - composition, by end usehousehold consumption: 82.5%
government consumption: 14.3%
investment in fixed capital: 14.4%
investment in inventories: 3.2%
exports of goods and services: 35.1%
imports of goods and services: -49.5% (2016 est.)
GDP - composition, by sector of originagriculture: 2.8%
industry: 11.7%
services: 85.5% (2016 est.)
Agriculture - productssugarcane, vegetables, cotton
Industriestourism, sugar, light manufacturing, component assembly for export
Industrial production growth rate-1% (2016 est.)
Labor force142,500 (2016 est.)
Labor force - by occupationagriculture: 10%
industry: 15%
services: 75% (1996 est.)
Unemployment rate11% (2016 est.)
11.3% (2015 est.)
Population below poverty lineNA%
Household income or consumption by percentage sharelowest 10%: NA%
highest 10%: NA%
Budgetrevenues: $1.2 billion (2013 est.)
expenditures: $1.5 billion (2016 est.)
Taxes and other revenues26.8% of GDP (2016 est.)
Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-)-6.7% of GDP (2016 est.)
Public debt108.9% of GDP (2016 est.)
106.9% of GDP (2015 est.)
Fiscal year1 April - 31 March
Inflation rate (consumer prices)1.3% (2016 est.)
-1.1% (2015 est.)
Central bank discount rate7% (31 December 2010)
7% (31 December 2009)
Commercial bank prime lending rate8.1% (31 December 2016 est.)
8.1% (31 December 2015 est.)
Stock of narrow money$1.888 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$1.831 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
Stock of broad money$4.442 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$4.309 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
Stock of domestic credit$5.669 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$5.377 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
Market value of publicly traded shares$4.495 billion (31 December 2012 est.)
$4.571 billion (31 December 2011 est.)
$4.366 billion (31 December 2010 est.)
Current account balance-$238 million (2016 est.)
-$315 million (2015 est.)
Exports$466.7 million (2016 est.)
$482.9 million (2015 est.)
Exports - commoditiesmanufactures, sugar, molasses, rum, other foodstuffs and beverages, chemicals, electrical components
Exports - partnersTrinidad and Tobago 22.5%, US 11.8%, St. Lucia 9.2%, St. Vincent and the Grenadines 5.7%, Antigua and Barbuda 4.7%, St. Kitts and Nevis 4.4%, Guyana 4.2% (2015)
Imports$1.575 billion (2016 est.)
$1.618 billion (2015 est.)
Imports - commoditiesconsumer goods, machinery, foodstuffs, construction materials, chemicals, fuel, electrical components
Imports - partnersTrinidad and Tobago 39%, US 31.1% (2015)
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold$608.1 million (31 December 2016 est.)
$657.5 million (31 December 2015 est.)
Debt - external$4.49 billion (2010 est.)
$668 million (2003 est.)
Exchange ratesBarbadian dollars (BBD) per US dollar -
2 (2016 est.)
2 (2015 est.)
2 (2014 est.)
2 (2013 est.)
2 (2012 est.)
note: the Barbadian dollar is pegged to the US dollar