Economy of Montserrat

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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 United Kingdom committed to a three year $125 million aid program in 1999 to help reconstruct the economy.

GDP: purchasing power parity - $31 million (1999 est.)
GDP - real growth rate: -1.5% (1999 est.)
GDP - per capita: purchasing power parity - $5,000 (1999 est.)
GDP - composition by sector:
agriculture: 5.4%
industry: 13.6%
services: 81% (1996 est.)
Inflation rate (consumer prices): 5% (1998)
Labor force: 4,521 (1992); note - recently lowered by flight of people from volcanic activity
Unemployment rate: 20% (1996 est.)
Budget:
revenues: $31.4 million
expenditures: $31.6 million, including capital expenditures of $8.4 million (1997 est.)
Industries: tourism, rum, textiles, electronic appliances
Electricity - production: 10 million kWh (1999)
Electricity - production by source:
fossil fuel: 100%
hydro: 0%
nuclear: 0%
other: 0% (1999)
Electricity - consumption: 9.3 million kWh (1999)
Agriculture - products: cabbages, carrots, cucumbers, tomatoes, onions, peppers; livestock products
Exports: $1.5 million (1998)
Exports - commodities: electronic components, plastic bags, apparel, hot peppers, live plants, cattle
Exports - partners: US, Antigua and Barbuda (1993)
Imports: $26 million (1998)
Imports - commodities: machinery and transportation equipment, foodstuffs, manufactured goods, fuels, lubricants, and related materials
Imports - partners: US, United Kingdom, Trinidad and Tobago, Japan, Canada (1993)
Debt - external: $8.9 million (1997)
Economic aid - recipient: $9.8 million (1995); note - about $100 million (1996-98) in reconstruction aid from the United Kingdom; Country Policy Plan (1999) is a three-year program for spending $122.8 million in British budgetary assistance.
Currency: East Caribbean dollar (XCD)

SOURCE: The World Factbook

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