U.S. Virgin Islands’ Economy Shrinks for Third Consecutive Year

The estimates of Gross Domestic Product for the U.S. Virgin Islands show that real GDP, adjusted to remove price changes, decreased 5.4 percent in 2013. This was the third consecutive decline following decreases of 13.8 percent in 2012 and 7.5 percent in 2011.

The 2013 decline in the Virgin Islands economy reflected decreases in exports of goods and in consumer spending. The decrease in exports of goods reflected the decline of the petroleum refining industry that for many years had played a dominant role in the economy. The Hovensa oil refinery, one of the world’s largest oil refineries, shut down operations on St. Croix in early 2012.

The decrease in consumer spending reflected decreases in spending on nondurable goods and on services.

Excluding the imports, exports, and inventory investment of the petroleum refining industry, GDP would have increased 0.6 percent in 2013, reflecting growth in tourism services and in exports of rum. Visitor arrivals increased 2.2 percent; exports of rum increased approximately 22 percent.

Read the full report here.

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