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Trinidad and Tobago Economy Profile 2013

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Economy - overviewTrinidad and Tobago has earned a reputation as an excellent investment site for international businesses and has one of the highest growth rates and per capita incomes in Latin America. Economic growth between 2000 and 2007 averaged slightly over 8%, significantly above the regional average of about 3.7% for that same period; however, GDP has slowed down since then and contracted during 2009-2011 due to depressed natural gas prices and changing markets. Growth had been fueled by investments in liquefied natural gas, petrochemicals, and steel with additional upstream and downstream investment planned. Trinidad and Tobago is the leading Caribbean producer of oil and gas, and its economy is heavily dependent upon these resources but it also supplies manufactured goods, notably food products and beverages, as well as cement to the Caribbean region. Oil and gas account for about 40% of GDP and 80% of exports, but only 5% of employment. Oil production has declined over the last decade as the country focused the majority of its efforts on natural gas. However, declining reserves, lack of government investment in the sector, and the changing global gas market raises concern for the long-term growth of the country's energy sector. Although Trinidad and Tobago enjoys cheap electricity from natural gas, the renewable energy sector has recently garnered increased interest. The country is also a regional financial center with a well-regulated and stable financial system. Other sectors the Government of Trinidad and Tobago targeted for increased investment and projected growth include tourism, agriculture, information and communications technology, and shipping. The economy benefits from a growing trade surplus with the US. The US is Trinidad and Tobago's leading trade partner. The previous MANNING administration benefited from fiscal surpluses fueled by the dynamic export sector; however, declines in oil and gas prices have reduced government revenues, challenging the current government's commitment to maintaining high levels of public investment. Crime and bureaucratic hurdles continue to be the biggest deterrents for attracting more foreign direct investment and business.
GDP (purchasing power parity)$27.14 billion (2012 est.)
$27.03 billion (2011 est.)
$27.74 billion (2010 est.)
note: data are in 2012 US dollars
GDP (official exchange rate)$25.28 billion (2012 est.)
GDP - real growth rate0.4% (2012 est.)
-2.6% (2011 est.)
0.2% (2010 est.)
GDP - per capita (PPP)$20,400 (2012 est.)
$20,400 (2011 est.)
$21,100 (2010 est.)
note: data are in 2012 US dollars
Gross national saving24.8% of GDP (2012 est.)
24.7% of GDP (2011 est.)
36.6% of GDP (2010 est.)
GDP - composition, by end usehousehold consumption: 58.1%
government consumption: 17.1%
investment in fixed capital: 15.6%
investment in inventories: -25%
exports of goods and services: 96.6%
imports of goods and services: -62.4%
(2012 est.)
GDP - composition by sectoragriculture: 0.3%
industry: 57.8%
services: 41.9% (2012 est.)
Population below poverty line17% (2007 est.)
Labor force615,800 (2012 est.)
Labor force - by occupationagriculture: 3.8%
manufacturing, mining, and quarrying: 12.8%
construction and utilities: 20.4%
services: 62.9% (2007 est.)
Unemployment rate5.6% (2012 est.)
5.5% (2011 est.)
Unemployment, youth ages 15-24total: 10.5%
male: 8.8%
female: 12.9% (2008)
Household income or consumption by percentage sharelowest 10%: NA%
highest 10%: NA%
Investment (gross fixed)15.6% of GDP (2012 est.)
Budgetrevenues: $7.654 billion
expenditures: $7.933 billion (2012 est.)
Taxes and other revenues30.3% of GDP (2012 est.)
Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-)-1.1% of GDP (2012 est.)
Public debt40.3% of GDP (2012 est.)
41.5% of GDP (2011 est.)
Inflation rate (consumer prices)9.2% (2012 est.)
5.1% (2011 est.)
Central bank discount rate4.25% (31 December 2010 est.)
7.25% (31 December 2009 est.)
Commercial bank prime lending rate7.8% (31 December 2012 est.)
7.97% (31 December 2011 est.)
Stock of narrow money$6.222 billion (31 December 2012 est.)
$5.594 billion (31 December 2011 est.)
Stock of broad money$17.28 billion (31 December 2012 est.)
$15.46 billion (31 December 2011 est.)
Stock of domestic credit$6.059 billion (31 December 2012 est.)
$5.731 billion (31 December 2011 est.)
Market value of publicly traded shares$14.73 billion (31 December 2011)
$12.16 billion (31 December 2010)
$11.15 billion (31 December 2009)
Agriculture - productscocoa, rice, citrus, coffee, vegetables; poultry; sugar
Industriespetroleum and petroleum products, liquefied natural gas (LNG), methanol, ammonia, urea, steel products, beverages, food processing, cement, cotton textiles
Industrial production growth rate-0.5% (2012 est.)
Current Account Balance$2.677 billion (2012 est.)
$2.26 billion (2011 est.)
Exports$13.61 billion (2012 est.)
$14.86 billion (2011 est.)
Exports - commoditiespetroleum and petroleum products, liquefied natural gas, methanol, ammonia, urea, steel products, beverages, cereal and cereal products, sugar, cocoa, coffee, citrus fruit, vegetables, flowers
Exports - partnersUS 40.3%, Argentina 6.9%, Chile 6.8%, Jamaica 4.9%, Spain 4.3% (2012)
Imports$8.317 billion (2012 est.)
$9.992 billion (2011 est.)
Imports - commoditiesmineral fuels, lubricants, machinery, transportation equipment, manufactured goods, food, chemicals, live animals
Imports - partnersUS 30.8%, Colombia 13.9%, Brazil 7.6%, Gabon 5%, Canada 4.1% (2012)
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold$9.897 billion (31 December 2012 est.)
$10.5 billion (31 December 2011 est.)
Debt - external$4.557 billion (31 December 2012 est.)
$4.84 billion (31 December 2011 est.)
Stock of direct foreign investment - at home$102 billion (31 December 2008 est.)
$12.44 billion (2007)
Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad$3.829 billion (2007)
Exchange ratesTrinidad and Tobago dollars (TTD) per US dollar -
6.391 (2012 est.)
6.4094 (2011 est.)
6.3755 (2010 est.)
6.3099 (2009)
6.2896 (2008)
Fiscal year1 October - 30 September

Source: CIA World Factbook
Unless otherwise noted, information in this page is accurate as of February 21, 2013