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Cayman Islands (overseas territory of the UK) Economy

    Economy—overview: With no direct taxation, the islands are a thriving offshore financial center. More than 40,000 companies were registered in the Cayman Islands as of 1997, including almost 600 banks and trust companies; banking assets exceed $500 billion. A stock exchange was opened in 1997. Tourism is also a mainstay, accounting for about 70% of GDP and 75% of foreign currency earnings. The tourist industry is aimed at the luxury market and caters mainly to visitors from North America. Total tourist arrivals exceeded 1.2 million visitors in 1997. About 90% of the islands' food and consumer goods must be imported. The Caymanians enjoy one of the highest outputs per capita and one of the highest standards of living in the world.

    GDP: purchasing power parity—$930 million (1997 est.)

    GDP—real growth rate: 5.5% (1997 est.)

    GDP—per capita: purchasing power parity—$24,500 (1997 est.)

    GDP—composition by sector:
    agriculture: 1.4%
    industry: 3.2%
    services: 95.4% (1994 est.)

    Population below poverty line: NA%

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

    Inflation rate (consumer prices): 2.7% (1997)

    Labor force: 19,820 (1995)

    Labor force—by occupation: service workers 18.7%, clerical 18.6%, construction 12.5%, finance and investment 6.7%, directors and business managers 5.9% (1979)

    Unemployment rate: 5.1% (1996)

    Budget:
    revenues: $265.2 million
    expenditures: $248.9 million, including capital expenditures of $NA (1997)

    Industries: tourism, banking, insurance and finance, construction, construction materials, furniture

    Industrial production growth rate: NA%

    Electricity—production: 290 million kWh (1996)

    Electricity—production by source:
    fossil fuel: 100%
    hydro: 0%
    nuclear: 0%
    other: 0% (1996)

    Electricity—consumption: 290 million kWh (1996)

    Electricity—exports: 0 kWh (1996)

    Electricity—imports: 0 kWh (1996)

    Agriculture—products: vegetables, fruit; livestock, turtle farming

    Exports: $2.65 million (1996)

    Exports—commodities: turtle products, manufactured consumer goods

    Exports—partners: mostly US

    Imports: $379.4 million (1996)

    Imports—commodities: foodstuffs, manufactured goods

    Imports—partners: US, Trinidad and Tobago, UK, Netherlands Antilles, Japan

    Debt—external: $70 million (1996)

    Economic aid—recipient: $NA

    Currency: 1 Caymanian dollar (CI$) = 100 cents

    Exchange rates: Caymanian dollars (CI$) per US$1—0.83 (3 November 1995), 0.85 (22 November 1993)

    Fiscal year: 1 April—31 March

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