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Trinidad and Tobago Economy Profile 2016

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Economy - overviewTrinidad and Tobago attracts considerable foreign direct investment from international businesses, particularly in energy, and has one of the highest per capita incomes in Latin America. Economic growth between 2000 and 2007 averaged slightly over 8% per year, significantly above the regional average of about 3.7% for that same period; however, GDP has slowed down since then, contracting during 2009-2012, making small gains in 2013 and contracting again in 2014-2015.

Energy production and downstream industrial use dominate the economy. Trinidad and Tobago produces about nine times more natural gas than crude oil on an energy equivalent basis with gas contributing about two-thirds of energy sector government revenue. Oil and gas account for about 40% of GDP and 80% of exports but less than 5% of employment. In 2013, Trinidad and Tobago was the world’s sixth-largest liquefied natural gas (LNG) exporter and is home to one of the largest natural gas liquefaction facilities in the Western Hemisphere. The United States is the country’s largest trading partner, accounting for 33% of its total imports and taking 44% of its exports.

Trinidad and Tobago is buffered by considerable foreign reserves and a sovereign wealth fund that equals about one-and-a-half times the national budget, but the country is in a recession and the government faces the dual challenge of gas shortages and a low price environment. A projected 70% decrease in energy revenue to the government in 2016 will likely force cuts to the government budget, which has increased by 35% over the past six years.

Economic diversification is a longstanding government talking point, and Trinidad and Tobago has much potential due to its stable, democratic government and its educated, English speaking workforce. 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 has targeted for increased investment and projected growth include tourism, agriculture, information and communications technology, and shipping. Unfortunately, a host of other factors, including low labor productivity, inefficient government bureaucracy, and corruption, have hampered economic development.
GDP (purchasing power parity)$44.31 billion (2015 est.)
$45.1 billion (2014 est.)
$45.56 billion (2013 est.)
note: data are in 2015 US dollars
GDP (official exchange rate)$24.55 billion (2015 est.)
GDP - real growth rate-1.8% (2015 est.)
-1% (2014 est.)
2.3% (2013 est.)
GDP - per capita (PPP)$32,600 (2015 est.)
$33,400 (2014 est.)
$33,900 (2013 est.)
note: data are in 2015 US dollars
Gross national saving8% of GDP (2015 est.)
18.1% of GDP (2014 est.)
20.7% of GDP (2013 est.)
GDP - composition, by end usehousehold consumption: 40.1%
government consumption: 12.3%
investment in fixed capital: 8.5%
investment in inventories: 0.5%
exports of goods and services: 66.8%
imports of goods and services: -28.2% (2015 est.)
GDP - composition by sectoragriculture: 0.5%
industry: 14.6%
services: 84.9% (2015 est.)
Population below poverty line17% (2007 est.)
Labor force626,400 (2015 est.)
Labor force - by occupationagriculture: 3.8%
manufacturing, mining, and quarrying: 12.8%
construction and utilities: 20.4%
services: 62.9% (2007 est.)
Unemployment rate3.5% (2015 est.)
3.3% (2014 est.)
Unemployment, youth ages 15-24total: 9.2%
male: 7.7%
female: 11.4% (2013 est.)
Household income or consumption by percentage sharelowest 10%: NA%
highest 10%: NA%
Budgetrevenues: $8.802 billion
expenditures: $9.849 billion (2015 est.)
Taxes and other revenues31.8% of GDP (2015 est.)
Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-)-3.8% of GDP (2015 est.)
Public debt42.1% of GDP (2015 est.)
39.5% of GDP (2014 est.)
Inflation rate (consumer prices)4.7% (2015 est.)
5.7% (2014 est.)
Central bank discount rate4.25% (31 December 2010)
7.25% (31 December 2009)
Commercial bank prime lending rate8% (31 December 2015 est.)
7.8% (31 December 2014 est.)
Stock of narrow money$7.422 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
$6.907 billion (31 December 2014 est.)
Stock of broad money$17.98 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
$16.92 billion (31 December 2014 est.)
Stock of domestic credit$9.06 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
$8.431 billion (31 December 2014 est.)
Market value of publicly traded shares$15.17 billion (31 December 2012 est.)
$14.73 billion (31 December 2011)
$12.16 billion (31 December 2010 est.)
Agriculture - productscocoa, dasheen, pumpkin, cassava, tomatoes, cucumbers, eggplant, hot pepper, pommecythere, coconut water, poultry
Industriespetroleum and petroleum products, liquefied natural gas (LNG), methanol, ammonia, urea, steel products, beverages, food processing, cement, cotton textiles
Industrial production growth rate1% (2015 est.)
Current Account Balance-$1.329 billion (2015 est.)
$1.266 billion (2014 est.)
Exports$8.713 billion (2015 est.)
$11.73 billion (2014 est.)
Exports - commoditiespetroleum and petroleum products, liquefied natural gas, methanol, ammonia, urea, steel products, beverages, cereal and cereal products, cocoa, fish, preserved fruits, , cosmetics, household cleaners, plastic packaging
Exports - partnersUS 26.3%, Argentina 12%, Brazil 6.6%, Chile 5.3%, Dominican Republic 5.2%, Barbados 5% (2015)
Imports$7.62 billion (2015 est.)
$8.904 billion (2014 est.)
Imports - commoditiesmineral fuels, lubricants, machinery, transportation equipment, manufactured goods, food, chemicals, live animals
Imports - partnersUS 35.6%, China 6.8%, Gabon 6.6% (2015)
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold$11.69 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
$11.98 billion (31 December 2014 est.)
Debt - external$4.879 billion (31 December 2014 est.)
$4.676 billion (31 December 2013 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 -
6.383 (2015 est.)
6.4041 (2014 est.)
6.4041 (2013 est.)
6.39 (2012 est.)
6.4094 (2011 est.)
Fiscal year1 October - 30 September

Source: CIA World Factbook
This page was last updated on October 8, 2016