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Saint Vincent and the Grenadines: Economy#

Success of the economy hinges upon seasonal variations in agriculture, tourism, and construction activity as well as remittances. Much of the workforce is employed in banana production and tourism, but persistent high unemployment has prompted many to leave the islands. Saint Vincent is home to a small offshore banking sector and has moved to adopt international regulatory standards.

This lower-middle-income country is vulnerable to natural disasters - tropical storms wiped out substantial portions of crops in 1994, 1995, and 2002. Floods and mudslides caused by unseasonable rainfall in 2013, caused substantial damage to infrastructure, homes, and crops, which the World Bank estimated at US$112 million. The government's ability to invest in social programs and respond to external shocks is constrained by its high public debt burden, which was 67% of GDP - one of the lowest levels in the Eastern Caribbean - at the end of 2013.

In 2013, the islands had more than 200,000 tourist arrivals, mostly to the Grenadines. Arrivals represented a marginal increase from 2012 but remain 26% below St. Vincent's 2009 peak. Weak recovery in the tourism and construction sectors limited growth in 2015.

Economic Facts#

GDP (purchasing power parity)$1.241 billion (2016 est.)
$1.219 billion (2015 est.)
$1.212 billion (2014 est.)
note: data are in 2016 dollars
GDP (official exchange rate)$766 million (2015 est.)
GDP - real growth rate1.8% (2016 est.)
0.6% (2015 est.)
0.2% (2014 est.)
GDP - per capita (PPP)$11,300 (2016 est.)
$11,100 (2015 est.)
$11,000 (2014 est.)
note: data are in 2016 dollars
Gross national saving-2.9% of GDP (2016 est.)
-2.6% of GDP (2015 est.)
-4.7% of GDP (2014 est.)
GDP - composition, by end usehousehold consumption: 89.6%
government consumption: 19%
investment in fixed capital: 20.9%
investment in inventories: -0.2%
exports of goods and services: 20.3%
imports of goods and services: -49.8% (2016 est.)
GDP - composition, by sector of originagriculture: 7.9%
industry: 17.2%
services: 75% (2016 est.)
Agriculture - productsbananas, coconuts, sweet potatoes, spices; small numbers of cattle, sheep, pigs, goats; fish
Industriestourism; food processing, cement, furniture, clothing, starch
Industrial production growth rate2.3% (2016 est.)
Labor force57,520 (2007 est.)
Labor force - by occupationagriculture: 26%
industry: 17%
services: 57% (1980 est.)
Unemployment rate18.8% (2008 est.)
Population below poverty lineNA%
Household income or consumption by percentage sharelowest 10%: NA%
highest 10%: NA%
Budgetrevenues: $222.2 million
expenditures: $259.3 million (2016 est.)
Taxes and other revenues29% of GDP (2016 est.)
Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-)-4.8% of GDP (2016 est.)
Public debt67% of GDP (2013 est.)
68% of GDP (2011 est.)
Fiscal yearcalendar year
Inflation rate (consumer prices)-0.3% (2016 est.)
-1.7% (2015 est.)
Central bank discount rate6.5% (31 December 2010)
6.5% (31 December 2009)
Commercial bank prime lending rate9.4% (31 December 2016 est.)
9.3% (31 December 2015 est.)
Stock of narrow money$167.9 million (31 December 2016 est.)
$162.2 million (31 December 2015 est.)
Stock of broad money$574.1 million (31 December 2016 est.)
$546.6 million (31 December 2015 est.)
Stock of domestic credit$447.9 million (31 December 2016 est.)
$439 million (31 December 2015 est.)
Current account balance-$176 million (2016 est.)
-$194 million (2015 est.)
Exports$50.5 million (2016 est.)
$49.8 million (2015 est.)
Exports - commoditiesbananas, eddoes and dasheen (taro), arrowroot starch; tennis racquets
Exports - partnersTrinidad and Tobago 18.9%, St. Lucia 14.8%, Barbados 12.3%, Dominica 9.7%, Grenada 9.3%, Antigua and Barbuda 8.4%, Poland 7.1%, St. Kitts and Nevis 4.1% (2015)
Imports$327.1 million (2016 est.)
$320.7 million (2015 est.)
Imports - commoditiesfoodstuffs, machinery and equipment, chemicals and fertilizers, minerals and fuels
Imports - partnersTrinidad and Tobago 29.3%, US 17.2%, Singapore 8.7%, China 8%, Barbados 6%, Poland 5.5%, Turkey 4.4% (2015)
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold$165 million (31 December 2016 est.)
$166 million (31 December 2015 est.)
Debt - external$321.1 million (31 December 2016 est.)
$327 million (31 December 2015 est.)
Exchange ratesEast Caribbean dollars (XCD) per US dollar -
2.7 (2016 est.)
2.7 (2015 est.)
2.7 (2014 est.)
2.7 (2013 est.)
2.7 (2012 est.)