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Trinidad and Tobago Economy Profile 2018

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Economy - overviewTrinidad and Tobago relies on its energy sector for much of its economic activity, 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 2009-12, making small gains in 2013 and contracting again in 2014-17. 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.

Energy production and downstream industrial use dominate the economy. Oil and gas typically account for about 40% of GDP and 80% of exports but less than 5% of employment. Trinidad and Tobago is home to one of the largest natural gas liquefaction facilities in the Western Hemisphere. 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. The US is the country’s largest trading partner, accounting for 28% of its total imports and taking 48% of its exports.

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. 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)$42.78 billion (2017 est.)
$44.18 billion (2016 est.)
$46.69 billion (2015 est.)
note: data are in 2017 dollars
GDP (official exchange rate)$20.3 billion (2016 est.)
GDP - real growth rate-3.2% (2017 est.)
-5.4% (2016 est.)
-0.6% (2015 est.)
GDP - per capita (PPP)$31,200 (2017 est.)
$32,300 (2016 est.)
$34,300 (2015 est.)
note: data are in 2017 dollars
Gross national saving10.4% of GDP (2017 est.)
9.5% of GDP (2016 est.)
12.4% of GDP (2015 est.)
GDP - composition, by end usehousehold consumption: 77.9%
government consumption: 17.8%
investment in fixed capital: 9%
investment in inventories: 0.6%
exports of goods and services: 47.5%
imports of goods and services: -52.2% (2017 est.)
GDP - composition by sectoragriculture: 0.4%
industry: 48.8%
services: 50.8% (2017 est.)
Population below poverty line20% (2014 est.)
Labor force629,400 (2017 est.)
Labor force - by occupationagriculture: 3.4%
industry: 11.5%
services: 84.7% (2015 est.)
Unemployment rate4.1% (2017 est.)
4.1% (2016 est.)
Unemployment, youth ages 15-24total: 8.4%
male: 7.4%
female: 9.9% (2015 est.)
Household income or consumption by percentage sharelowest 10%: NA%
highest 10%: NA%
Budgetrevenues: $6.916 billion
expenditures: $7.838 billion (2017 est.)
Taxes and other revenues34.1% of GDP (2017 est.)
Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-)-4.5% of GDP (2017 est.)
Public debt65.3% of GDP (2017 est.)
62.5% of GDP (2016 est.)
Inflation rate (consumer prices)3.2% (2017 est.)
3.1% (2016 est.)
Central bank discount rate6.75% (04 March 2016 est.)
6.75% (31 December 2015 est.)
Commercial bank prime lending rate9% (31 December 2017 est.)
9% (31 December 2016 est.)
Stock of narrow money$7.238 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
$6.72 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
Stock of broad money$18.54 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
$16.66 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
Stock of domestic credit$10.08 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
$9.718 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
Market value of publicly traded shares$177.4 million (31 December 2015 est.)
$171.6 million (31 December 2014 est.)
$170 million (31 December 2013 est.)
Agriculture - productscocoa, dasheen, pumpkin, cassava, tomatoes, cucumbers, eggplant, hot pepper, pommecythere, coconut water, poultry
Industriespetroleum and petroleum products, liquefied natural gas, methanol, ammonia, urea, steel products, beverages, food processing, cement, cotton textiles
Industrial production growth rate2% (2017 est.)
Current Account Balance-$1.835 billion (2017 est.)
-$2.395 billion (2016 est.)
Exports$9.668 billion (2017 est.)
$8.714 billion (2016 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 39.2%, Argentina 9.3% (2016)
Imports$10.19 billion (2017 est.)
$9.485 billion (2016 est.)
Imports - commoditiesmineral fuels, lubricants, machinery, transportation equipment, manufactured goods, food, chemicals, live animals
Imports - partnersUS 33.4%, Russia 13.3%, Gabon 12.4%, China 6.1% (2016)
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold$8.66 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
$9.995 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
Debt - external$10.07 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
$8.746 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
Stock of direct foreign investment - at home$382.9 million (31 December 2014 est.)
$311.7 million (31 December 2013 est.)
Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad$1.266 billion (2014 est.)
$2.061 billion (2013 est.)
Exchange ratesTrinidad and Tobago dollars (TTD) per US dollar -
6.762 (2017 est.)
6.669 (2016 est.)
6.669 (2015 est.)
6.4041 (2014 est.)
6.4041 (2013 est.)
Fiscal year1 October - 30 September

Source: CIA World Factbook
This page was last updated on January 20, 2018