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US Virgin Islands Economy
 
 
 

General

Tourism is the primary economic activity. The islands normally host 2 million visitors a year, many of whom visit on cruise ships.

The manufacturing sector consists of petroleum refining, textiles, electronics, rum distilling, pharmaceuticals and watch assembly. With the exception of rum distilling from sugar, none of the industries owe their existence to the presence of natural resources. Instead, they depend of tax concessions and the financial advantages they derive from being a US territory. Near the airport, is located the site of a closed (December 2000) alumina factory which processed bauxite from Suriname and West Africa. There is also an oil refinery which produces 495,000 barrels per day (78,700 m3/d) supplied by a fleet of tankers which take away all the refined products. Hovensa, one of the world's largest petroleum refineries, is located on St. Croix. There were a number of assembly plants, especially on St. Croix, which manufactured watches from overseas parts. However, this industry has significantly dwindled in recent years.

The agricultural sector is small, with most food being imported.

International business and financial services are a small but growing component of the economy. The islands also receive cross-over subsidies, which generated approximately $100 million for the Virgin Islands in 2008.

Overview

Economy - overview : Tourism is the primary economic activity, accounting for 80% of GDP and employment. The islands hosted 2.4 million visitors in 2008. The manufacturing sector consists of petroleum refining, rum distilling, textiles, electronics, pharmaceuticals, and watch assembly. One of the world's largest petroleum refineries is at St. Croix. The agricultural sector is small, with most food being imported. International business and financial services are small but growing components of the economy. The islands are vulnerable to substantial damage from storms. The government is working to improve fiscal discipline, to support construction projects in the private sector, to expand tourist facilities, to reduce crime, and to protect the environment.
GDP (purchasing power parity) : $1.577 billion (2004 est.)
GDP (official exchange rate) : $NA
GDP - real growth rate : 2% (2002 est.)
GDP - per capita (PPP) : $14,500 (2004 est.)
GDP - composition by sector : agriculture: 1%
industry: 19%
services: 80% (2003 est.)
Labour force : 49,820 (2007 est.)
Labour force - by occupation : agriculture: 1%
industry: 19%
services: 80% (2003 est.)
Unemployment rate : 6.2% (2004)
Population below poverty line : 28.9% (2002)
Household income or consumption by percentage share
: lowest 10%: NA%
highest 10%: NA%
Budget : revenues: $837 million
expenditures: $837 million (FY08/09)
Inflation rate (consumer prices)
: 2.2% (2003)
Agriculture - products : fruit, vegetables, sorghum; Senepol cattle
Industries : tourism, petroleum refining, watch assembly, rum distilling, construction, pharmaceuticals, textiles, electronics
Industrial production growth rate : NA%
Electricity - production : 776.4 million kWh (2007 est.)
Electricity - consumption : 722 million kWh (2007 est.)
Electricity - exports : 0 kWh (2008 est.)
Electricity - imports : 0 kWh (2008 est.)
Oil - production : 16,870 bbl/day (2009 est.)
Oil - consumption : 88,820 bbl/day (2009 est.)
Oil - exports : 388,000 bbl/day (2007 est.)
Oil - imports : 480,600 bbl/day (2007 est.)
Oil - proved reserves : 0 bbl
Natural gas - production : 0 cu m (2008 est.)
Natural gas - consumption : 0 cu m (2008 est.)
Natural gas - exports : 0 cu m (2008 est.)
Natural gas - imports : 0 cu m (2008 est.)
Natural gas - proved reserves : 0 cu m (1 January 2009 est.)
Exports : $4.234 billion (2001)
Exports - commodities : refined petroleum products
Exports - partners : Spain 29.41%, UK 15.28%, South Korea 10.54%, US 9.75%, India 9.52% (2009)
Imports : $4.609 billion (2001)
Imports - commodities : crude oil, foodstuffs, consumer goods, building materials
Debt - external : $NA
Exchange rates : the US dollar is used
 

 
 

 



 


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