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Economy of Trinidad & Tobago
 
 
 

General

Trinidad & Tobago's economy is strongly influenced by the petroleum industry. Tourism and manufacturing are also important to the local economy. Tourism is a growing sector, although not proportionately as important as in many other Caribbean islands. Agricultural products include citrus, cocoa and other products. According to the World Bank, Trinidad & Tobago ranks 69th in the top high-income economies of the world.

Recent growth has been fueled by investments in liquefied natural gas (LNG), petrochemicals and steel. Additional petrochemical, aluminium and plastics projects are in various stages of planning. Trinidad & 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 centre, and the economy has 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. The expansion of Atlantic LNG over the past six years created the largest-single sustained phase of economic growth in Trinidad & Tobago. It has become the leading exporter of LNG to the United States, and now supplies some 70% of US LNG imports.

Trinidad & Tobago has transitioned from an oil-based economy to a natural gas based economy. In December 2005, the Atlantic LNG fourth production module or "train" for liquefied natural gas (LNG) began production. Train 4 has increased Atlantic LNG's overall output capacity by almost 50% and is the largest LNG train in the world at 5.2 million tons/year of LNG.

Trinidad & 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 desalinisation plants. Infrastructure improvement, especially rural roads and telephone service, drainage and sewerage, are among the government's budget priorities.

Overview

Economy - overview : 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. Economic growth between 2000 and 2007 averaged slightly over 8%, significantly above the regional average of about 3.7% for that same period; however, it has slowed down since then and contracted about 3.5% in 2009. Growth has been fueled by investments in liquefied natural gas (LNG), petrochemicals, and steel. Additional petrochemical, aluminium, 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 products 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 centre, and tourism is a growing sector, although it is not as important domestically as it is to many other Caribbean islands. The economy benefits from a growing trade surplus. The MANNING administration has benefited from fiscal surpluses fueled by the dynamic export sector; however, declines in oil and gas prices have reduced government revenues which will challenge his government's commitment to maintaining high levels of public investment.
GDP (purchasing power parity) : $26.19 billion (2009 est.)
GDP (official exchange rate) : $20.38 billion (2009 est.)
GDP - real growth rate : -3.2% (2009 est.)
GDP - per capita (PPP) : $21,300 (2009 est.)
GDP - composition by sector : agriculture: 0.5%
industry: 59.2%
services: 40.3% (2009 est.)
Labour force : 629,000 (2009 est.)
Labour force - by occupation : agriculture: 3.8%
manufacturing, mining, and quarrying: 12.8%
construction and utilities: 20.4%
services: 62.9% (2007 est.)
Unemployment rate : 5.8% (2009 est.)
Population below poverty line : 17% (2007 est.)
Household income or consumption by percentage share
: lowest 10%: NA%
highest 10%: NA%
Investment (gross fixed) : 11.4% of GDP (2009 est.)
Budget : revenues: $6.036 billion
expenditures: $7.513 billion (2009 est.)
Inflation rate (consumer prices)
: 7% (2009 est.)
Central bank discount rate
: 7.25% (31 December 2009)
Commercial bank prime lending rate : 11.94% (31 December 2009 )
Stock of narrow money : $2.803 billion (31 December 2008)
Stock of broad money : $9.843 billion (31 December 2008 est.)
Stock of domestic credit : $3.09 billion (31 December 2008)
Market value of publicly traded shares : $11.15 billion (31 December 2009)
Agriculture - products : cocoa, rice, citrus, coffee, vegetables; poultry
Industries : petroleum and petroleum products, liquefied natural gas (LNG), methanol, ammonia, urea, steel products, beverages, food processing, cement, cotton textiles
Industrial production growth rate : -5% (2009 est.)
Electricity - production : 7.202 billion kWh (2007 est.)
Electricity - consumption : 7.034 billion kWh (2007 est.)
Electricity - exports : 0 kWh (2008 est.)
Electricity - imports : 0 kWh (2008 est.)
Oil - production : 151,600 bbl/day (2009 est.)
Oil - consumption : 43,000 bbl/day (2009 est.)
Oil - exports : 248,300 bbl/day (2007 est.)
Oil - imports : 92,480 bbl/day (2007 est.)
Oil - proved reserves : 728.3 million bbl (1 January 2009 est.)
Natural gas - production : 39.3 billion cu m (2008 est.)
Natural gas - consumption : 21.94 billion cu m (2008 est.)
Natural gas - exports : 17.36 billion cu m (2008 est.)
Natural gas - imports : 0 cu m (2008 est.)
Natural gas - proved reserves : 531.5 billion cu m (1 January 2009 est.)
Current account balance : $1.76 billion (2009 est.)
Exports : $9.175 billion (2009 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 38.53%, Jamaica 8.86%, Spain 6.88%, Mexico 6.23% (2009)
Imports : $6.974 billion (2009 est.)
Imports - commodities : mineral fuels, lubricants, machinery, transportation equipment, manufactured goods, food, chemicals, live animals
Imports - partners : US 30.87%, Colombia 7.1%, Venezuela 7.01%, Russia 6.64%, Brazil 5.53%, China 4.19% (2009)
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold : $9.246 billion (31 December 2009 est.)
Debt - external : $2.079 billion (31 December 2009 est.)
Stock of direct foreign investment - at home : $102 billion (31 December 2008 est.)
Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad : $3.829 billion (2007)
Exchange rates : Trinidad and Tobago dollars (TTD) per US dollar - 6.2993 (2009), 6.2896 (2008), 6.3275 (2007), 6.3107 (2006), 6.2842 (2005)
 

 
 

 



 


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