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Economy

Economy - overview: Severe volcanic activity, which began in July 1995, put a damper on this small, open economy throughout 1996-99. A catastrophic eruption in June 1997 closed the air and sea ports, causing further economic and social dislocation. Two-thirds of the 12,000 inhabitants fled the island. Some began to return in 1998, but lack of housing limited the number. The agriculture sector continued to be affected by the lack of suitable land for farming and the destruction of crops. Construction was the dominant activity in 1997 and 1998. GDP declined again in 1998. Prospects for the economy depend largely on developments in relation to the volcano and on public sector construction activity. The UK committed about $100 million in 1996-98 to help reconstruct the economy and has programmed additional aid for 1999-2001.

GDP: purchasing power parity - $31 million (1998 est.)

GDP - real growth rate: -16% (1998 est.)

GDP - per capita: purchasing power parity - $NA

GDP - composition by sector:
agriculture: 5.4%
industry: 13.6%
services: 81% (1996 est.)

Population below poverty line: NA%

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

Inflation rate (consumer prices): 5% (1998)

Labor force: 4,521 (1992); note - recently lowered by flight of people from volcanic activity

Labor force - by occupation: agriculture NA%, industry NA%, services NA%

Unemployment rate: 20% (1996 est.)

Budget:
revenues: $31.4 million
expenditures: $31.6 million, including capital expenditures of $8.4 million (1997 est.)

Industries: tourism, rum, textiles, electronic appliances

Industrial production growth rate: NA%

Electricity - production: 10 million kWh (1998)

Electricity - production by source:
fossil fuel: 100%
hydro: 0%
nuclear: 0%
other: 0% (1998)

Electricity - consumption: 9 million kWh (1998)

Electricity - exports: 0 kWh (1998)

Electricity - imports: 0 kWh (1998)

Agriculture - products: cabbages, carrots, cucumbers, tomatoes, onions, peppers; livestock products

Exports: $1.5 million (1998)

Exports - commodities: electronic components, plastic bags, apparel, hot peppers, live plants, cattle

Exports - partners: US, Antigua and Barbuda (1993)

Imports: $26 million (1998)

Imports - commodities: machinery and transportation equipment, foodstuffs, manufactured goods, fuels, lubricants, and related materials

Imports - partners: US, UK, Trinidad and Tobago, Japan, Canada (1993)

Debt - external: $8.9 million (1997)

Economic aid - recipient: $9.8 million (1995); note - about $100 million (1996-98) in reconstruction aid from the UK; Country Policy Plan (1999) is a three-year program for spending $122.8 million in British budgetary assistance

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 April - 31 March



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