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Saint Lucia Economy Profile

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Economy - overview

The island nation has been able to attract foreign business and investment, especially in its offshore banking and tourism industries. Tourism is Saint Lucia's main source of jobs and income - accounting for 65% of GDP - and the island's main source of foreign exchange earnings. The manufacturing sector is the most diverse in the Eastern Caribbean area. Crops such as bananas, mangos, and avocados continue to be grown for export, but St. Lucia's once solid banana industry has been devastated by strong competition.

Saint Lucia is vulnerable to a variety of external shocks, including volatile tourism receipts, natural disasters, and dependence on foreign oil. Furthermore, high public debt - 77% of GDP in 2012 - and high debt servicing obligations constrain the CHASTANET administration's ability to respond to adverse external shocks.

St. Lucia has experienced anemic growth since the onset of the global financial crisis in 2008, largely because of a slowdown in tourism - airlines cut back on their routes to St. Lucia in 2012. Also, St. Lucia introduced a value added tax in 2012 of 15%, becoming the last country in the Eastern Caribbean to do so. In 2013, the government introduced a National Competitiveness and Productivity Council to address St. Lucia's high public wages and lack of productivity.

GDP (purchasing power parity)
$2.542 billion (2017 est.)
$2.469 billion (2016 est.)
$2.388 billion (2015 est.)

note: data are in 2017 dollars

GDP (official exchange rate)
$1.686 billion (2017 est.)
GDP - real growth rate
3% (2017 est.)
3.4% (2016 est.)
-0.9% (2015 est.)
GDP - per capita (PPP)
$14,400 (2017 est.)
$14,200 (2016 est.)
$13,800 (2015 est.)

note: data are in 2017 dollars

Gross national saving
19.4% of GDP (2017 est.)
15.5% of GDP (2016 est.)
24.3% of GDP (2015 est.)
GDP - composition, by end use
household consumption: 66.1% (2017 est.)
government consumption: 11.2% (2017 est.)
investment in fixed capital: 16.9% (2017 est.)
investment in inventories: 0.1% (2017 est.)
exports of goods and services: 62.7% (2017 est.)
imports of goods and services: -56.9% (2017 est.)
GDP - composition by sector
agriculture: 2.9% (2017 est.)
industry: 14.2% (2017 est.)
services: 82.8% (2017 est.)
Population below poverty line
NA
Labor force
79,700 (2012 est.)
Labor force - by occupation
agriculture: 21.7%
industry: 24.7%
services: 53.6% (2002 est.)
Unemployment rate
20% (2003 est.)
Unemployment, youth ages 15-24
total: 46.2%
male: 42.6%
female: 51% (2016 est.)
Household income or consumption by percentage share
lowest 10%: NA
highest 10%: NA
Budget
revenues: 398.2 million (2017 est.)
expenditures: 392.8 million (2017 est.)
Taxes and other revenues
23.6% (of GDP) (2017 est.)
Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-)
0.3% (of GDP) (2017 est.)
Public debt
70.7% of GDP (2017 est.)
69.2% of GDP (2016 est.)
Inflation rate (consumer prices)
0.1% (2017 est.)
-3.1% (2016 est.)
Central bank discount rate
6.5% (31 December 2010)
6.5% (31 December 2009)
Commercial bank prime lending rate
8.34% (31 December 2017 est.)
8.47% (31 December 2016 est.)
Stock of narrow money
$334.2 million (31 December 2017 est.)
$318.4 million (31 December 2016 est.)
Stock of broad money
$334.2 million (31 December 2017 est.)
$318.4 million (31 December 2016 est.)
Stock of domestic credit
$1.267 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
$1.297 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
Agriculture - products
bananas, coconuts, vegetables, citrus, root crops, cocoa
Industries
tourism; clothing, assembly of electronic components, beverages, corrugated cardboard boxes, lime processing, coconut processing
Industrial production growth rate
6% (2017 est.)
Current Account Balance
$21 million (2017 est.)
-$31 million (2016 est.)
Exports
$185.1 million (2017 est.)
$188.2 million (2016 est.)
Exports - commodities
bananas 41%, clothing, cocoa, avocados, mangoes, coconut oil (2010 est.)
Exports - partners
US 67.6%, UK 5.9%, Trinidad and Tobago 5.5% (2017)
Imports
$600 million (2017 est.)
$575.9 million (2016 est.)
Imports - commodities
food, manufactured goods, machinery and transportation equipment, chemicals, fuels
Imports - partners
US 53.3%, Trinidad and Tobago 10.8% (2017)
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold
$321.8 million (31 December 2017 est.)
$320.7 million (31 December 2016 est.)
Debt - external
$570.6 million (31 December 2017 est.)
$529 million (31 December 2015 est.)
Exchange rates
East Caribbean dollars (XCD) per US dollar -
2.7 (2017 est.)
2.7 (2016 est.)
2.7 (2015 est.)
2.7 (2014 est.)
2.7 (2013 est.)
Fiscal year
1 April - 31 March

Source: CIA World Factbook
This page was last updated on Friday, November 27, 2020