The Economy of Trinidad and Tobago

The Economy of Trinidad and Tobago

Trinidadian, Tobagonian Economy

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 for the past seven years has averaged slightly over 8%, significantly above the regional average of about 3.7% for that same period; however, it has slowed down this year to about 5% and is expected to slow further with the global downturn. 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. 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 - real growth rate: 3.5% (2008 est.) 5.5% (2007 est.) 12.2% (2006 est.)

GDP - per capita:

GDP - composition by sector: agriculture: 0.5% industry: 47.9% services: 51.6% (2008 est.)

Population below poverty line:

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

Distribution of family income - Gini index:

Inflation rate (consumer prices):

Labor force: 620,800 (2008 est.)

Labor force - by occupation: agriculture 3.8%, manufacturing, mining, and quarrying 12.8%, construction and utilities 20.4%, services 62.9% (2007 est.)

Unemployment rate: 5.3% (2008 est.)

Budget: revenues: $8.317 billion expenditures: $8.311 billion (2008 est.)

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

Industrial production growth rate: 4.4% (2008 est.)

Electricity - production: 7.704 billion kWh (2007)

Electricity - production by source:

Electricity - consumption: 7.083 billion kWh (2007)

Electricity - exports: 0 kWh (2007 est.)

Electricity - imports: 0 kWh (2007 est.)

Oil - production: 163,300 bbl/day (2007 est.)

Oil - consumption: 28,730 bbl/day (2006 est.)

Oil - exports: 38,990 bbl/day (2007)

Oil - imports: 72,780 bbl/day (2005)

Oil - proved reserves: 728.3 million bbl (1 January 2008 est.)

Natural gas - production: 39 billion cu m (2007 est.)

Natural gas - consumption: 20.8 billion cu m (2007 est.)

Natural gas - exports: 18.1 billion cu m (2007 est.)

Natural gas - imports: 0 cu m (2007 est.)

Natural gas - proved reserves: 481.3 billion cu m (1 January 2008 est.)

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

Exports: $16.73 billion f.o.b. (2008 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 57.5%, Jamaica 6.5%, Spain 3.9% (2007)

Imports: $10.26 billion f.o.b. (2008 est.)

Imports - commodities: mineral fuels, lubricants, machinery, transportation equipment, manufactured goods, food, chemicals, live animals

Imports - partners: US 28.2%, Brazil 11%, Venezuela 8.2%, Colombia 5.4%, Gabon 4.9%, China 4.2% (2007)

Debt - external: $3.4 billion (31 December 2008 est.)

Economic aid - recipient:


Currency code:

Exchange rates: Trinidad and Tobago dollars (TTD) per US dollar - 6.2896 (2008 est.), 6.3275 (2007), 6.3107 (2006), 6.2842 (2005), 6.299 (2004)

Fiscal year:

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