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Economy of Montserrat

Economy - overview: Severe volcanic activity, which began in July 1995, has put a damper on this small, open economy. A catastrophic eruption in June 1997 closed the airports and seaports, causing further economic and social dislocation. Two-thirds of the 12,000 inhabitants fled the island. Some began to return in 1998, but lack of housing limited the number. The agriculture sector continued to be affected by the lack of suitable land for farming and the destruction of crops. Prospects for the economy depend largely on developments in relation to the volcano and on public sector construction activity. The UK has launched a three-year $122.8 million aid program to help reconstruct the economy. Half of the island is expected to remain uninhabitable for another decade.

GDP: purchasing power parity - $29 million (2002 est.)

GDP - real growth rate: -1% (2002 est.)

GDP - per capita: purchasing power parity - $3,400 (2002 est.)

GDP - composition by sector:
agriculture: 5.4%
industry: 13.6%
services: 81% (1996 est.)

Population below poverty line: NA%

Household income or consumption by percentage share:
lowest 10%: NA%
highest 10%: NA%

Inflation rate (consumer prices): 2.6% (2002)

Labor force: 4,521 ; note - recently lowered by flight of people from volcanic activity

Labor force - by occupation: agriculture NA%, industry NA%, services NA%

Unemployment rate: 6% (1998 est.)

revenues: $31.4 million
expenditures: $31.6 million, including capital expenditures of $8.4 million (1997 est.)

Industries: tourism, rum, textiles, electronic appliances

Industrial production growth rate: NA%

Electricity - production: 2.5 million kWh (2001)

Electricity - production by source:
fossil fuel: 100%
hydro: 0%
nuclear: 0%
other: 0% (2001)

Electricity - consumption: 2.325 million kWh (2001)

Electricity - exports: 0 kWh (2001)

Electricity - imports: 0 kWh (2001)

Oil - production: 0 bbl/day (2001 est.)

Oil - consumption: 400 bbl/day (2001 est.)

Oil - exports: NA (2001)

Oil - imports: NA (2001)

Agriculture - products: cabbages, carrots, cucumbers, tomatoes, onions, peppers; livestock products

Exports: $700,000 (2001)

Exports - commodities: electronic components, plastic bags, apparel, hot peppers, live plants, cattle

Exports - partners: US, Antigua and Barbuda

Imports: $17 million (2001)

Imports - commodities: machinery and transportation equipment, foodstuffs, manufactured goods, fuels, lubricants, and related materials

Imports - partners: US, UK, Trinidad and Tobago, Japan, Canada

Debt - external: $8.9 million (1997)

Economic aid - recipient: Country Policy Plan (2001) is a three-year program for spending $122.8 million in British budgetary assistance

Currency: East Caribbean dollar (XCD)

Exchange rates: East Caribbean dollars (EC$) per US$1 - 2.7000 (fixed rate since 1976)

Fiscal year: 1 April - 31 March

See also : Montserrat