Summary of Caribbean economic performance, 1997
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Summary In general economic expansion in the Caribbean countries was slightly more robust in 1997 than in the preceding year. However, the rate of growth experienced by the countries surveyed was more uneven than in 1996. The sectors recording strongest performance were tourism, construction and the distributive trades. Agriculture turned in a mixed performance with declining output in Barbados, Jamaica and the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS);. The traditional agricultural exports suffered from deteriorating terms of trade while output in the sector as a whole was adversely affected by unfavourable climatic conditions. The manufacturing sector turned in a mixed performance, declining in Jamaica and the OECS but showing modest increases elsewhere, except in the Dominican Republic and Trinidad and Tobago where growth was strong. Tourism had modest increases in all countries except the Bahamas, Barbados and Grenada. The monetary expansion and easier credit, a general deterioration of the public accounts, moderate price inflation, and lower unemployment figures were also features of 1997.