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Dominica Economy

    Economy—overview: The economy depends on agriculture and is highly vulnerable to climatic conditions, notably tropical storms. Agriculture, primarily bananas, accounts for 20% of GDP and employs 40% of the labor force. Development of the tourist industry remains difficult because of the rugged coastline, lack of beaches, and the lack of an international airport. Hurricane Luis devastated the country's banana crop in September 1995; tropical storms had wiped out one-quarter of the crop in 1994 as well. The economy began to recover in mid-1998, fueled by increases in construction, soap production, and tourist arrivals. The government is attempting to develop an offshore financial industry in order to diversify the island's production base.

    GDP: purchasing power parity—$216 million (1997 est.)

    GDP—real growth rate: 1.8% (1997)

    GDP—per capita: purchasing power parity—$3,300 (1997 est.)

    GDP—composition by sector:
    agriculture: 20%
    industry: 16%
    services: 64% (1996 est.)

    Population below poverty line: NA%

    Household income or consumption by percentage share:
    lowest 10%: NA%
    highest 10%: NA%

    Inflation rate (consumer prices): 2.2% (1997)

    Labor force: 25,000

    Labor force—by occupation: agriculture 40%, industry and commerce 32%, services 28%

    Unemployment rate: 15% (1992 est.)

    Budget:
    revenues: $72 million
    expenditures: $79.9 million, including capital expenditures of $11.5 million (FY97/98)

    Industries: soap, coconut oil, tourism, copra, furniture, cement blocks, shoes

    Industrial production growth rate: -10% (1997 est.)

    Electricity—production: 40 million kWh (1996)

    Electricity—production by source:
    fossil fuel: 50%
    hydro: 50%
    nuclear: 0%
    other: 0% (1996)

    Electricity—consumption: 40 million kWh (1996)

    Electricity—exports: 0 kWh (1996)

    Electricity—imports: 0 kWh (1996)

    Agriculture—products: bananas, citrus, mangoes, root crops, coconuts; forest and fishery potential not exploited

    Exports: $50.4 million (1997)

    Exports—commodities: bananas 50%, soap, bay oil, vegetables, grapefruit, oranges

    Exports—partners: Caricom countries 47%, UK 36%, US 7% (1996 est.)

    Imports: $104.2 million (1997)

    Imports—commodities: manufactured goods, machinery and equipment, food, chemicals

    Imports—partners: US 41%, Caricom 25%, UK 13%, Netherlands, Canada

    Debt—external: $105 million (1997 est.)

    Economic aid—recipient: $24.4 million (1995)

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

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

    Fiscal year: 1 July—30 June

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Revised 1-Mar-99
Copyright © 1999 Photius Coutsoukis (all rights reserved)