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Jamaica Economy Profile 2017

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Economy - overviewThe Jamaican economy is heavily dependent on services, which accounts for more than 70% of GDP. The country continues to derive most of its foreign exchange from tourism, remittances, and bauxite/alumina. Earnings from remittances and tourism each account for about 15% of GDP, while bauxite/alumina exports have declined to less than 5% of GDP.

Jamaica's economy has grown on average less than 1% a year for the last three decades and many impediments remain to growth: a bloated public sector which crowds out spending on important projects; high crime and corruption; red-tape; and a high debt-to-GDP ratio. Jamaica, however, has made steady progress in reducing its debt-to-GDP ratio from a high of almost 150% in 2012 to about 115% in 2017, in close collaboration with the International Monetary Fund. The existing Stand By Agreement requires Jamaica to produce an annual primary surplus of 7%, in an attempt to reduce its debt burden below 60% by 2025.

Economic growth reached 1.6% in 2016. The HOLNESS administration faces the difficult prospect of maintaining fiscal discipline to make debt payments while simultaneously attacking a serious crime problem. High unemployment exacerbates the crime problem, including gang violence fueled by the drug trade.
GDP (purchasing power parity)$25.39 billion (2016 est.)
$25.01 billion (2015 est.)
$24.78 billion (2014 est.)
note: data are in 2016 dollars
GDP (official exchange rate)$13.78 billion (2016 est.)
GDP - real growth rate1.5% (2016 est.)
0.9% (2015 est.)
0.5% (2014 est.)
GDP - per capita (PPP)$9,000 (2016 est.)
$8,900 (2015 est.)
$8,900 (2014 est.)
note: data are in 2016 dollars
Gross national saving12.9% of GDP (2016 est.)
12% of GDP (2015 est.)
14.1% of GDP (2014 est.)
GDP - composition, by end usehousehold consumption: 84.5%
government consumption: 14.8%
investment in fixed capital: 22.4%
investment in inventories: 0.5%
exports of goods and services: 33.9%
imports of goods and services: -56.1% (2016 est.)
GDP - composition by sectoragriculture: 6.7%
industry: 21.3%
services: 72% (2016 est.)
Population below poverty line16.5% (2009 est.)
Labor force1.312 million (2016 est.)
Labor force - by occupationagriculture: 17%
industry: 19%
services: 64% (2006)
Unemployment rate13.8% (2016 est.)
14% (2015 est.)
Unemployment, youth ages 15-24total: 37.8%
male: 30%
female: 48.1% (2013 est.)
Household income or consumption by percentage sharelowest 10%: 2.1%
highest 10%: 35.8% (2004)
Distribution of family income - Gini index45.5 (2004)
37.9 (2000)
Budgetrevenues: $3.885 billion
expenditures: $4.033 billion (2016 est.)
Taxes and other revenues28.2% of GDP (2016 est.)
Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-)-1.1% of GDP (2016 est.)
Public debt130.1% of GDP (2016 est.)
126.8% of GDP (2015 est.)
Inflation rate (consumer prices)2.5% (2016 est.)
3.7% (2015 est.)
Central bank discount rate2% (31 December 2010)
Commercial bank prime lending rate16.6% (31 December 2016 est.)
16.98% (31 December 2015 est.)
Stock of narrow money$3.567 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$3.542 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
Stock of broad money$8.241 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$8.182 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
Stock of domestic credit$6.995 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$6.881 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
Market value of publicly traded shares$6.39 billion (31 December 2012 est.)
$7.223 billion (31 December 2011 est.)
$6.626 billion (31 December 2010 est.)
Agriculture - productssugarcane, bananas, coffee, citrus, yams, ackees, vegetables; poultry, goats, milk; shellfish
Industriestourism, bauxite/alumina, agricultural-processing, light manufactures, rum, cement, metal, paper, chemical products, telecommunications
Industrial production growth rate1.7% (2016 est.)
Current Account Balance-$378 million (2016 est.)
-$429 million (2015 est.)
Exports$1.278 billion (2016 est.)
$1.261 billion (2015 est.)
Exports - commoditiesalumina, bauxite, sugar, rum, coffee, yams, beverages, chemicals, apparel, mineral fuels
Exports - partnersUS 24.3%, Canada 16.4%, Russia 9.3%, Netherlands 8.8%, Iceland 7.1%, UK 6.5% (2015)
Imports$3.772 billion (2016 est.)
$4.414 billion (2015 est.)
Imports - commoditiesfood and other consumer goods, industrial supplies, fuel, parts and accessories of capital goods, machinery and transport equipment, construction materials
Imports - partnersUS 34.9%, China 12.9%, Trinidad and Tobago 11.9%, Venezuela 6.1% (2015)
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold$2.9 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$2.914 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
Debt - external$16.76 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$16.49 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
Exchange ratesJamaican dollars (JMD) per US dollar -
125.2 (2016 est.)
116.898 (2015 est.)
116.898 (2014 est.)
110.935 (2013 est.)
88.75 (2012 est.)
Fiscal year1 April - 31 March

Source: CIA World Factbook
This page was last updated on July 9, 2017