Economy of Trinidad and Tobago

Economy of Trinidad and Tobago

Trinidad and Tobago has earned a reputation as an excellent investment site for international businesses and has one of the highest growth rates and per capita incomes in Latin America. Recent growth has been fueled by investments in liquefied natural gas (LNG), petrochemicals, and steel. Additional petrochemical, aluminum, and plastics projects are in various stages of planning. Trinidad and Tobago is the leading Caribbean producer of oil and gas, and its economy is heavily dependent upon these resources but it also supplies manufactured goods, notably food and beverages, as well as cement to the Caribbean region. Oil and gas account for about 40% of GDP and 80% of exports, but only 5% of employment. The country is also a regional financial center, and tourism is a growing sector, although it is not proportionately as important as in many other Caribbean islands. The economy benefits from a growing trade surplus. Economic growth reached 12.6% in 2006 and 5.5% in 2007 as prices for oil, petrochemicals, and LNG remained high, and as foreign direct investment continued to grow to support expanded capacity in the energy sector.

Trinidad and Tobago's infrastructure is adequate by regional standards. The national airport has recently been expanded. There is an extensive network of paved roads, and utilities are fairly reliable in the cities. Some areas, however, especially rural districts, still suffer from water shortages. The government is addressing this problem with the construction of additional desalinization plants. Infrastructure improvement, especially rural roads and telephone service, drainage and sewerage, are among the government's budget priorities.

Telephone service is relatively modern and reliable. Cellular service is widespread and has been the major area of growth for several years. Digicel and Laqtel were granted cellular licenses in 2005, breaking TSTT's monopoly. The Internet has come into widespread use, although service can be slow at peak times. The government has been slow to open up this market to competition as well.

purchasing power parity - $22.93 billion (2007 est.)

GDP - real growth rate:5.5% (2007 est.)

GDP - per capita:purchasing power parity - $21,700 (2007 est.)

GDP - composition by sector:
"services:"41.5% (2006 est.)

Population below poverty line:17% (2007 est.)

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

Inflation rate (consumer prices):7.6% (2007 est.)

Labor force:618,000 (2006 est.)

Labor force - by occupation:agriculture 4%, manufacturing, mining, and quarrying 12.9%, construction and utilities 17.5%, services 65.6% (2006 est.)

Unemployment rate:5.4% (2007 est.)

"revenues:"$6.591 billion
"expenditures:"$5.649 billion, including capital expenditures of $117.3 million (2006 est.)

Industries:petroleum, chemicals, tourism, food processing, cement, beverages, cotton textiles

Industrial production growth rate:8% (2007 est.)

Electricity - production:6.049 billion kWh (2004)

Electricity - production by source:
"fossil fuel:"99.27%
"other:"0.73% (1998)

Electricity - consumption:7.704 billion kWh (2007)

Electricity - exports:0 kWh (2005)

Electricity - imports:0 kWh (2005)

Agriculture - products:
cocoa, sugarcane, rice, citrus, coffee, vegetables; poultry

Natural gas - production: 39.92 billion cu m (2007 est.) Natural gas - consumption: 37.29 billion cu m (2007 est.)

Natural gas - exports: 21.03 billion cu m (2007 est.)

Natural gas - imports: 0 cu m (2007) Natural gas - proved reserves: 702.8 billion cu m (1 January 2007 est.)

Oil - production:120,000 bbl/day (2007 est.)

Oil - consumption: 24,770 bbl/day (2007 est.)

Oil - exports: 202,100 bbl/day (2004) Oil - imports: 91,780 bbl/day (2004)

Oil - proved reserves: 605.8 million bbl (1 January 2007 est.)

Current account balance: $3.884 billion (2007 est.)

Exports: $14.13 billion f.o.b. (2007 est.)

Exports - commodities: petroleum and petroleum products, liquefied natural gas (LNG), methanol, ammonia, urea, steel products, beverages, cereal and cereal products, sugar, cocoa, coffee, citrus fruit, vegetables, flowers

Exports - partners: US 59.8%, Spain 5.3%, Jamaica 5.2% (2006)

Imports: $6.477 billion f.o.b. (2007 est.)

Imports - commodities: mineral fuels, lubricants, machinery, transportation equipment, manufactured goods, food, live animals, grain Imports - partners: US 30.6%, Brazil 12%, Venezuela 6.8%, Gabon 4.7%, Colombia 4.6% (2006)

Economic aid - recipient: $200,000 (2007 est.) Reserves of foreign exchange and gold: $6.761 billion (31 December 2007 est.)

Currency:1 Trinidad and Tobago dollar (TT$) = 100 cents

Exchange rates:Trinidad and Tobago dollars (TT$) per US$1 : 6.2842 (2005), 6.2990 (2004),6.2951 (2003),6.2487 (2002),6.2332 (2001),6.2697 (2000),6.2963 (1999),6.2983 (1998),6.2517 (1997),6.0051 (1996),5.9478 (1995)

Stock of direct foreign investment - at home: $12.44 billion (2007)

Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad: $1.419 billion (2007) Market value of publicly traded shares: $15.57 billion (2006) Fiscal year: 1 October - 30 September

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