Economy of Jamaica
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|Economy of Jamaica|
|Currency||Jamaican dollar (JMD)|
|Fiscal year||1 April – 31 March|
|Trade organisations||Bank of Jamaica|
|GDP||$25.18 billion (2012 est. PPP)|
|GDP growth||0.9% (2012 est. Real)|
|GDP per capita||$9,100 (2012 est.)|
|GDP by sector||agriculture: 6.5%; industry: 29.9%; services: 63.5% (2012 est.)|
|Inflation (CPI)||6.8% (2012 est.)|
below poverty line
|16.5% (2009 est.)|
|Gini coefficient||45.5 (2004)|
|Labour force||1.325 million (2012 est.)|
|agriculture: 17%; industry: 19%; services: 64% (2006)|
|Unemployment||14.2% (2012 est.)|
|Main industries||tourism, bauxite/alumina, food processing, light manufactures, rum, cement, metal, paper, chemical products, telecommunications|
|Ease of Doing Business Rank||88th|
|Exports||$1.718 billion (2012 est.)|
|Export goods||alumina, bauxite, sugar, rum, coffee, yams, beverages, chemicals, wearing apparel, mineral fuels|
|Main export partners||U.S. 34%, Canada 15.8%, Norway 9.4%, U.K. 6.6%, Neatherlands 6.1% (2010)|
|Imports||$6.356 billion (2011 est.)|
|Import goods||food and other consumer goods, industrial supplies, fuel, parts and accessories of capital goods, machinery and transport equipment, construction materials|
|Main import partners||U.S. 36.8%, Canada 18.1%,Netherlands 7.3%, UK 5.4%, Norway 4.3% (2011)|
|Gross external debt||$14.6 billion (31 December 2011 est.)|
|Public debt||126.5% of GDP (2011 est.)|
|Revenues||$3.982 billion (2011 est.)|
|Expenses||$4.744 billion (2011 est.)|
|Economic aid||recipient: $102.7 million (1995)|
|Credit rating||Standard & Poor's:
B (T&C Assessment)
Jamaica has natural resources, primarily bauxite, and an ideal climate conducive to agriculture and tourism. The discovery of bauxite in the 1940s and the subsequent establishment of the bauxite-alumina industry shifted Jamaica's economy from sugar and bananas. By the 1970s, Jamaica had emerged as a world leader in export of these minerals as foreign investment increased.
The country faces some serious problems but has the potential for growth and modernization. The Jamaican economy suffered its fourth consecutive year of negative growth (0.4%) in 1999. All sectors excepting bauxite/alumina, energy, and tourism shrank in 1998 and 1999. In 2000, Jamaica experienced its first year of positive growth since 1995. Nominal economic growth has continued to the upside approximately in line with US growth since. This is the result of the government's continued tight macroeconomic policies, which have been largely successful. Inflation fell from 25% in 1995 to single digits in 2000, reaching a multidecade low of 4.3% in 2004. Through periodic intervention in the market, the central bank also has prevented any abrupt drop in the exchange rate. However, the Jamaican dollar has been slipping, despite intervention, resulting in an average exchange rate of J$73.40 per US$1.00 and J136.2 per €1.00 (February 2011). In addition, inflation has been trending upward since 2004 and is projected to once again reach a double digit rate of 12-13% through the year 2008 due to a combination of unfavorable weather damaging crops and increasing agricultural imports and high energy prices.Cite error: A set of
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Weakness in the financial sector, speculation, and lower levels of investment erode confidence in the productive sector. The government continues its efforts to raise new sovereign debt in local and international financial markets in order to meet its U.S. dollar debt obligations, to mop up liquidity to maintain the exchange rate and to help fund the current budget deficit.
Jamaican Government economic policies encourage foreign investment in areas that earn or save foreign exchange, generate employment, and use local raw materials. The government provides a wide range of incentives to investors, including remittance facilities to assist them in repatriating funds to the country of origin; tax holidays which defer taxes for a period of years; and duty-free access for machinery and raw materials imported for approved enterprises. Free trade zones have stimulated investment in garment assembly, light manufacturing, and data entry by foreign firms. However, over the last 5 years, the garment industry has suffered from reduced export earnings, continued factory closures, and rising unemployment. This may be attributed to intense competition, absence of North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) parity, drug contamination delaying deliveries, and the high cost of operation, including security costs. The Government of Jamaica hopes to encourage economic activity through a combination of privatization, financial sector restructuring, reduced interest rates, and by boosting tourism and related productive activities.
Primary industries 
Jamaican agriculture, along with forestry and fishing accounted for about 6.6% of GDP in 1999. Sugar, the leading export crop, is produced in nearly every parish. Sugar production in 2000 was estimated at 175,000 tons, a decrease from 290,000 tons in 1999. Sugar formed 7.1% of the exports in 1999 & Jamaica formed 4.8% of production in the Caribbean. Sugar is also used for the production of by-products such as molasses, rum & some wallboard is made from bagasse. Banana production in 1999 was 130,000 tons. Bananas formed 2.4% of the exports in 1999 & Jamaica formed 7.5% of production in the Caribbean.
Coffee is mainly grown around the Blue Mountains and in hilly areas, where one type, Jamaican Blue Mountain Coffee, is considered among the best in the world because at those heights in the Blue Mountains, the cooler climate causes the berries to take longer to ripen and the beans develop more of the substances which on roasting give coffee its flavor. Coffee formed 1.9% of exports in 1999. The picking season lasts from August to March. The coffee is exported from Kingston. Cocoa is grown throughout Jamaica and local sales absorb about 1/3 of the output to be made into instant drinks and confectionery. Citrus fruit is mainly grown in the central parts of Jamaica, particularly between the elevations of 1,000-2,500 feet. The picking season lasts from November to April. Two factories in Bog Walk produce fruit juices, canned fruit, essential oils and marmalade. Coconuts are grown on the northern and eastern coasts, which provide enough copra to supply factories to make butterine, margarine, lard, edible oil & laundry soap.
Other export crops are pimento, ginger, tobacco, sisal and other fruit are exported. Rice is grown around swampy areas around the Black River & around Long Bay in Hanover and Westmoreland parishes for local consumption.
Animal husbandry 
Pastures form a good percentage of the land in Jamaica. Many properties specialize in cattle rearing. Livestock holdings were 400,000 head of cattle, 440,000 goats, 180,000 hogs & 30,000 sheep. Although animal products & numbers of livestock are increasing, this isn't enough for local requirements for a growing population. Dairying has increased since the erection of a condensed milk factory at Bog Walk in 1940. Even so, the supply of dairy products is not enough for local requirements and there are large imports of powdered milk, butter and cheese.
The fishing industry grew during the 1900s, primarily from the focus on inland fishing. Several thousand fishermen make a living from fishing. The shallow waters and cays off the south coast are richer than the northern waters. Other fishermen live on the Pedro Cays, 80 miles (130 km) to the south of Jamaica.
Jamaica supplies about half of its fish requirements; major imports of frozen and salted fish are imported from the USA & Canada.
By the late 1890, only 185,000 hectares (460,000 acres) of Jamaica's original 1,000,000 hectares (2,500,000 acres) of forest remained. Roundwood production was 881,000 cu m (31.1 million cu ft) in 2000. About 68% of the timber cut in 2000 was used as fuel wood while 32% was used for industrial use. The forests that once covered Jamaica now exist only in mountainous areas. They only supply 20% of the island timber requirements. The remaining forest is protected from further exploitation. Other accessible mountain areas are being reforested, mainly with pines, mahoe and mahogany. it is also part of an ss society of alowness.
Jamaica is the third-leading producer of bauxite and alumina in 1998, with 12.6 million tons of bauxite, accounting for 10.4% of world production & 3.46 million tons of alumina, accounting for 7.4% of world production. Mining and quarrying contributed 4.1% to GDP in 1999. Bauxite and alumina formed 55.2% of exports in 1999 and is the second-leading money earner after tourism. Jamaica has reserves of over 2 billion tonnes and is expected to last 100 years. Bauxite is found in the central parishes of St.Elizabeth, Manchester, Clarendon, St.Catherine, St.Ann & Trelawny. There are 4 alumina plants and 6 mines.
Jamaica has deposits of several million tons of gypsum on the southern slopes of the Blue Mountains. Jamaica produced 330,441 tons of gypsum and some of this was used in the local cement industry and the manufacturing of building materials. Other minerals present in Jamaica include marble, limestone and silica and ores of copper, lead, zinc, manganese and iron. Some of these are worked in small quantities. Petroleum has been sought, but so far none has been found.
Secondary Industries 
The manufacturing sector is an essential contributor to the Jamaican economy. Though manufacturing accounted for 13.9% of GDP in 1999. Jamaican companies contribute many manufactures such as food processing; oil refining; produced chemicals, construction materials, plastic goods, paints, pharmaceuticals, cartons, leather goods and cigars & assembled electronics, textiles and apparel. The garment industry is a major job employed thousands of locals and they formed 12.9% of exports in 1999 earning US$159 million dollars. Chemicals formed 3.3% of the exports in 1999 earning US$40 million dollars.
An oil refinery is located near Kingston converts crude petroleum obtained from Venezuela into gasoline and other products. These are mainly for local use. The construction industry is growing due to new hotels and attractions being built for tourism. Construction and installation formed 10.4% of the GDP in 1999.
Manufactured goods were imported and formed 30.3% of the imports and cost US$877 million dollars in 1999.
Tertiary industries 
Tourism is tied with remittances as Jamaica's top source of revenue. The tourism industry earns over 50 percent of the country's total foreign exchange earnings and provides about one-fourth of all jobs in Jamaica. Most tourist activity is centered on the island's northern coast, including the communities of Montego Bay, Ocho Rios, and Port Antonio, as well as in Negril on the island's western tip.
Financial services 
Another service is the financial services industry. The 1990s saw a rapid expansion in banking, investment, and insurance services. In 1999, financial institutions formed 7.2% of the GDP in 1999. There are many banks such as Century National Bank, National Commercial Bank, Pan Caribbean Bank, Scotia-Bank, Royal Bank of Canada and First Global Bank. GBTI bank.
The absence of large commercial centers, other than Kingston, Montego Bay and Ocho Rios has resulted in a poorly developed retail sector in Jamaica. While Kingston and Montego Bay are home to a number of retail stores, including American fast-food franchises such as Domino's, Burger King, and KFC, the majority of the towns in the interior of the country, such as Mandeville, May Pen, and Spanish Town, have small shops, public markets, and temporary roadside stands.
GDP: purchasing power parity - US$24.58 billion (2011 est.)
GDP - real growth rate: 1.5% (2011 est.)
GDP - per capita: purchasing power parity - US$9,000 (2011 est.)
GDP - composition by sector:
services: 64.7% (2011 est.)
Population below poverty line: 16.5% (2009 est.)
Household income or consumption by percentage share:
lowest 10%: 2.1%
highest 10%: 35.8% (2004)
Inflation rate (consumer prices): 9.4% (2011 est.)
Labor force: 1.32 million (2011)
Labor force - by occupation: services 64%, agriculture 17%, industry 19% (2006)
Unemployment rate: 12.7% (2011 est.)
revenues: $3.982 billion
expenditures: $4.744 billion(2011 est.)
Industries: tourism, bauxite/alumina, agro processing, light manufactures, rum, cement, metal, paper, chemical products, telecommunications.
Industrial production growth rate: -2% (2010 est.)
Electricity - production: 7.323 billion kWh (2008 est.)
Electricity - production by source:
fossil fuel: 92.7%
other: 5.09% (1998)
Electricity - consumption: 6.4 billion kWh (2008)
Electricity - exports: 0 kWh (2009)
Electricity - imports: 0 kWh (2009)
Agriculture - products: sugarcane, bananas, coffee, citrus, yams, ackees, vegetables; poultry, goats, milk, shellfish
Exports: $1.65 billion (2011 est.)
Exports - commodities: alumina, bauxite, sugar, bananas, rum, coffee, beverages, chemicals
Exports - partners: United States 34%, Canada 15.8%, Norway 9.4%, United Kingdom 6.6%, Netherlands 6.1% (2010)
Imports: $6.356 billion (2011 est.)
Imports - commodities: food and other consumer goods, industrial supplies, fuel, parts and accessories of capital goods, machinery and transport equipment, construction materials
Imports - partners: United States 32.6%, Venezuela 15%, Trinidad & Tobago 14.5%, China 4.6% (2010)
Debt - external: $13.83 billion (31 December 2011 est.)
Currency: 1 Jamaican dollar (J$) = 100 cents
Exchange rates: Jamaican dollars (J$) per US$1 – 97.66 (2013 est.), 80.83 (January 2009), 70.0 (December 2007), 62.5 (September 2005), 45.7 (June 2001), 41.139 (December 1999), 9.044 (1999), 36.550 (1998), 35.404 (1997), 37.120 (1996)
Fiscal year: 1 April–31 March
- See also: Jamaica
- "Doing Business in Jamaica 2012". World Bank. Retrieved 21 November 2011.
- "Sovereigns rating list". Standard & Poor's. Retrieved 26 May 2011.
- Rogers, Simon; Sedghi, Ami (15 April 2011). "How Fitch, Moody's and S&P rate each country's credit rating". The Guardian. Retrieved 31 May 2011.
- FXHistory - Historical Currency Exchange Rates