Economy overview: The key sectors of the island’s economy are bauxite mining (alumina and bauxite account for more than half of exports) and tourism. After taking office as prime minister, Patterson eased price controls, simplified the tax system, and privatized state-owned enterprises. A consistent tight financial policy has helped to reduce inflation (although inflationary pressures are mounting) and stabilize the local currency. But as a result, economic growth slowed down (falling from 1.5% in 1992 to 0.5% in 1995). In 1996, GDP began to fall and growth remained negative until 1999. The following problems are serious: high interest rates; increased international competition; the weak financial position of the business as a whole, leading to the closure or reduction in the size of companies; orientation of investors not on production, and on short-term highly profitable financial instruments; pent-up, volatile exchange rate; growing trade deficit; growing due to government subsidies to various sectors of the economy (especially financial) external debt. Depressive economic conditions led in 1999-2000. to civil unrest, as well as an increase in crime. Medium-term prospects depend on encouraging investment in the productive sectors of the economy, maintaining a competitive exchange rate, stabilizing labor relations, selling off bought out firms, streamlining financial and monetary policies. See cheeroutdoor.com to know more about Jamaica Business.
GDP: at purchasing power parity – $9.7 billion (2000 est.).
Real GDP growth rate: 0.2% (2000 est.).
GDP per capita: at purchasing power parity – $3,700 (2000 est.).
The composition of GDP by sectors of the economy: agriculture: 7.4%; industry: 35.2%; services: 57.4% (1999 est.).
Proportion of population below the poverty line: 34.2% (1992 est.).
Percentage distribution of family income or consumption: per 10% of the poorest families: 2.9%; by the top 10% of families: 28.9% (1996).
Inflation rate at consumer prices: 8.8% (2000 est.).
Work force: 1.13 million people (1998). Labor force by sector of employment: services 60%, agriculture 21%, industry 19% (1998).
Unemployment rate: 16% (2000 est.).
Budget: revenues: $2.23 billion; expenditures: $2.56 billion, including capital expenditures of $232.5 billion (FY99-2000 est.).
Economic sectors: tourism, bauxite mining, food industry, light industry, production of rum, cement, metals, paper, chemical products.
Growth in industrial production: -2% (2000 est.).
Electricity production: 6.53 mpdkWh (1999). Electricity generation by source: fossil fuel: 92.28%; hydropower: 1.36%; nuclear fuel: 0%; others: 6.36% (1999).
Sources of electricity generation:
Electricity consumption: 6.073 billion kWh (1999).
Electricity export: 0 kWh (1999).
Electricity import: 0 kWh (1999).
Agricultural products: sugarcane, bananas, coffee, citrus fruits, potatoes, vegetables, poultry, goats, milk.
Exports: $1.7 billion (free on board, 2000 est.) Export products: alumina, bauxites, sugar, bananas, rum.
Export items: Export
partners: US 35.7%, EU (excluding UK) 15.8%, UK 13%, Canada 10.5% (1999).
Import: $3 billion (free on board, 2000 est.). Imported products: machinery and transport equipment, building materials, fuels, foodstuffs, chemicals, fertilizers.
Import partners: USA 47.8%, CA-RICOM countries 12.4%, Latin America 7.2%, EU (excluding UK) 4.7% (1999).
External debt: $4.7 billion (2000 est.) Economic aid recipient: $102.7 million (1995)
Economic aid donor:
Currency: Jamaican dollar.
Currency code: JMD.
Exchange rate: JMD/USD – 45.557 (January 2001), 42.701 (2000), 39.044 (1999), 36.550 (1998), 35.404 (1997), 37.120 (1996).
Fiscal year: April 1-March 31.
Telecommunications Telephone lines: 353,000 (1996).
Mobile Cell Phones: 54,640 (1996).
Telephone system: fully automated local telephone network; internal: no data; international: satellite earth stations 2 Intelsat (over the Atlantic Ocean); 3 coaxial submarine cables.
Broadcast stations: AM – 10, FM – 13, shortwave -0 (1998).
Radio receivers: 1.215 million (1997)
Television broadcast stations: 7 (1997).
TVs: 460,000 (1997).
Internet Country Code: jm
Internet Service Providers: 21 (2000).
Number of users: 60,000 (2000).
Transport Railways: total: 370 km; with standard gauge: 370 km (1.435 m gauge); note – km 207 is owned by the Jamaican Railways Corporation for public transport but is no longer operated, the rest of the railways are privately owned and used for the transport of bauxite. Highways: total: 19,000 km; coated: 13,433 km; unpaved: 5,567 km (1997)
Pipelines: for oil products – 10 km.
Ports and harbours: Alligator Pond, Discovery Bay, Kingston Montego Bay, Ocho Rios, Port Antonio, Port Iskyuvel (Longswoff), Rocky Point.
Merchant navy: total: 1 vessel of 1,930 gross register tons / 3,065 long tons of gross tonnage; ships of various types: oil tanker – 1 (2000 est.)
Airports: 35 (2000 est.).
Airports with paved runways: total: 11; from 2438 to 3047 m: 2; from 1,524 to 2,437 m: 1; from 914 to 1523 m:3; less than 914 m: 5 (2000 est.).
Airports with unpaved runways: total: 24; from 914 to 1523 m:2; less than 914 m: 22 (2000 est.).
Branches of the armed forces: Jamaica Defense Forces (includes ground units, coast guard and air wing), Jamaican police forces.
Enlistment age: 18 years old.
Total Military Manpower: Male 15 to 49: 736,627 (2001 est.).
Eligible for military service: males aged 15 to 49: 517,077 (2001 est.).
Number of persons reaching military age each year: male: 27,729 (2001 est.).
Military spending in dollar terms: $30 million (FY95-96 est.)
Military spending as part of GDP: no data available.
International issues International disputes: no.
Illicit drugs: transit point for cocaine from South America to North America and Europe; illegal cultivation of hemp; the government is implementing a program of active eradication of cannabis crops; corruption is a big problem.