- GDP (PPP):
- $2.6 billion
- -1.4% 5-year compound annual growth
- $14,255 per capita
- Inflation (CPI):
- Public Debt:
Saint Lucia’s economic freedom score is 60.7, making its economy the 79th freest in the 2023 Index. Its score is 3.6 points lower than last year. Saint Lucia is ranked 17th out of 32 countries in the Americas region, and its overall score is above the world and regional averages.
The Saint Lucian economy has long benefited from a well-developed legal and commercial infrastructure and a tradition of private-sector entrepreneurial dynamism. The business environment is generally efficient and transparent, and the regulatory framework has become more streamlined. Greater access to financing opportunities is needed to encourage private-sector development.
Saint Lucia is a two-party democracy with a bicameral parliament. Phillip J. Pierre of the center-left Labour Party became prime minister in 2021. Saint Lucia is a member of the Caribbean Community and Common Market and the headquarters of the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States. The economy depends primarily on tourism, banana production, and some light manufacturing. A well-educated workforce and recent public infrastructure improvements have attracted foreign investment. The government is working to diversify from bananas into other commodities and is prioritizing growth in communications and information technology. Saint Lucia remains one of five Caribbean nations to recognize Taiwan.
Rule of Law
The overall rule of law is relatively well respected in Saint Lucia. The country’s property rights score is above the world average; its judicial effectiveness score is above the world average; and its government integrity score is above the world average.
The top individual and corporate tax rates are 30 percent. The tax burden equals 20.5 percent of GDP. Three-year government spending and budget balance averages are, respectively, 29.8 percent and –7.3 percent of GDP. Public debt equals 92.2 percent of GDP.
The regulatory environment fosters private-sector development. It is not time-consuming or costly to establish a business, and licensing requirements are not burdensome. Labor regulations are flexible, but an efficient labor market has not fully developed. The most recent available inflation rate is 2.4 percent.
The trade-weighted average tariff rate is 14.2 percent, and layers of nontariff measures are in force. Foreign investment is welcome, and the investment code treats foreigners and nationals equally for many types of activity. The financial sector, dominated by banking, is expanding slowly.