Home > News Release: Gross Domestic Product for the U.S. Virgin Islands
EMBARGOED UNTIL RELEASE AT 8:30 A.M. EDT, TUESDAY, JULY 6, 2010
BEA 10-35
Aya Hamano:
(202) 606-9683   (BEA)
Wali Osman:
(202) 208-4292   (OIA)
THE BUREAU OF ECONOMIC ANALYSIS (BEA) RELEASES ESTIMATES OF THE MAJOR COMPONENTS OF GROSS DOMESTIC PRODUCT FOR THE U.S. VIRGIN ISLANDS

CHARLOTTE AMALIE, U.S. VIRGIN ISLANDS (July 6, 2010) – Today, the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) is releasing its first set of estimates of the major components of gross domestic product (GDP) for the U.S. Virgin Islands.1

Objectively gauging changes in economic activity is difficult in the absence of comprehensive economic metrics, such as the GDP. Until now, a framework did not exist to estimate the GDP of the U.S. Virgin Islands. The Statistical Improvement Program, funded by the Office of Insular Affairs (OIA) of the U.S. Department of the Interior, has made it possible for BEA to develop formal methodologies for measuring the GDP of the U.S. Virgin Islands.

On May 5, 2010, BEA released estimates of total GDP for American Samoa, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, Guam, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. The estimates for the U.S. Virgin Islands showed that from 2002 to 2007, real GDP -- GDP adjusted to remove price changes -- grew at an average annual rate of 2.9 percent.2 (For comparison, the average annual growth rate for the United States (excluding the territories) was 2.8 percent over this period.)

The estimates released today supplement the estimates of total GDP for the U.S. Virgin Islands that were released in May. The accompanying tables present estimates for the major components of GDP, including consumer spending, private fixed investment, private inventory investment, net exports, and government spending.3 Also included in this release are estimates of the major components of gross domestic income.

The estimates of the major components of GDP highlight the impact that the oil refining industry had on the U.S. Virgin Islands’ economic growth over the period 2002 to 2007. Changes in exports, imports, and investment (including inventory investment) associated with the oil refining industry accounted for much of the year-to-year variation in real GDP growth over this period. Other notable factors were changes in territorial government spending and in consumer spending.

1 These estimates are based on limited source data and are subject to revision.

2 Summary GDP statistics for the U.S. Virgin Islands are presented on page 3 of this news release.

3 “Consumer spending” refers to “personal consumption expenditures,” “inventory investment” refers to “change in private inventories,” and “government spending” refers to “government consumption expenditures and gross investment.”

In constructing the estimates for the U.S. Virgin Islands, BEA used methodologies consistent with the methods used to estimate U.S. GDP. Information from the Economic Census of Island Areas was used to establish levels of GDP for the years 2002 and 2007. Annual series were then developed and used to estimate GDP for the intervening years. Because the U.S. Virgin Islands is not included in most of the major surveys used by BEA to estimate U.S. GDP, the support of government leaders in the U.S. Virgin Islands and the assistance provided by the Bureau of Economic Research, the Virgin Islands Bureau of Internal Revenue, and the Virgin Islands Department of Labor were critical to the successful production of the estimates presented in this release.

Moving forward, the agreement between OIA and BEA will extend and improve the estimates of GDP for the U.S. Virgin Islands. BEA currently plans to release estimates for both 2008 and 2009 in the spring of 2011.

BEA’s national, international, regional, and industry statistics; the Survey of Current Business; and BEA news releases are available without charge on BEA’s Web site at www.bea.gov. By visiting the site, you can also subscribe to receive free e-mail summaries of BEA releases and announcements.

U.S. Virgin Islands (USVI)

From 2002 to 2007, real GDP of the USVI grew at an average annual rate of 2.9 percent. Real GDP decreased in 2003, and then grew at increasing rates from 2004 to 2007. The major factors underlying the strong economic growth were the oil refining industry, tourism, and territorial government spending. The Hovensa oil refinery, located on St. Croix, is one of the world’s largest oil refineries.

Summary Statistics for the USVI
  2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2002-2007
AAGR 1
GDP (millions of dollars) 3,085 3,248 3,605 4,240 4,298 4,580 8.2%
Real GDP (millions of chained 2005 dollars) 3,996 3,949 4,088 4,240 4,411 4,604 2.9%
Population 2 110,026 110,740 111,459 111,470 113,689 114,743 0.8%
Real GDP per capita (chained 2005 dollars) 36,319 35,660 36,677 38,037 38,799 40,124 2.0%
1. Average annual growth rate. 2. Source: 2008 U.S. Virgin Islands Annual Economic Indicators.        

Percentage change of Real GDP Growth for the U.S. Virgin Islands 2003-2007

From 2002 to 2007, the population of the USVI increased at an average annual rate of 0.8 percent, and real GDP per capita increased at an average annual rate of 2.0 percent.

Chained (2005) dollars Per Capita Real GDP for the U.S. Virgin Islands 2002-2007



U.S. Virgin Islands
Table 1. Gross Domestic Product
Line
[Millions of dollars]
2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007
Gross domestic product
1 3,085 3,248 3,605 4,240 4,298 4,580
 
Personal consumption expenditures 2 1,121 1,176 1,255 1,414 1,592 1,657
Private fixed investment 3 435 311 357 445 498 409
Change in private inventories 4 -93 27 13 -5 -55 -533
Net exports 5 803 978 1,213 1,588 1,330 2,000
  Exports 6 5,106 6,831 8,993 12,073 13,170 14,496
   Goods 7 3,911 5,575 7,637 10,626 11,708 13,062
   Services 8 1,195 1,257 1,356 1,446 1,462 1,434
  Imports 9 4,304 5,853 7,781 10,485 11,840 12,496
   Goods 10 4,140 5,651 7,547 10,243 11,615 12,251
   Services 11 164 202 234 241 225 244
 
Government consumption
 expenditures and gross investment
12 819 756 768 798 933 1,047
 Federal 13 80 84 98 94 90 100
 Territorial 14 739 671 670 704 843 947


U.S. Virgin Islands
Table 2. Real Gross Domestic Product, Chained Dollars
Line
[Millions of chained (2005) dollars]
2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007
Gross domestic product
1 3,996 3,949 4,088 4,240 4,411 4,604
 
Personal consumption expenditures 2 1,287 1,299 1,324 1,414 1,547 1,524
 
Private fixed investment 3 496 345 378 445 469 373
Change in private inventories 4 -184 51 27 -5 -45 -386
Net exports 5 1,410 1,503 1,594 1,588 1,557 2,088
 Exports 6 9,600 11,124 11,933 12,073 11,454 11,415
  Goods 7 8,253 9,849 10,550 10,626 10,054 10,077
  Services 8 1,241 1,286 1,389 1,446 1,402 1,330
 Imports 9 8,189 9,621 10,339 10,485 9,896 9,327
  Goods 10 7,985 9,395 10,092 10,243 9,675 9,092
  Services 11 200 226 246 241 221 240
 
Government consumption
 expenditures and gross investment
12 870 766 787 798 866 952
 Federal 13 93 96 102 94 88 92
 Territorial 14 775 670 686 704 777 859


U.S. Virgin Islands
Table 3. Percent Change From Preceding Year in Real Gross Domestic Product
  Line
[Percent]
2003 2004 2005 2006 2007
Gross domestic product
1 -1.2 3.5 3.7 4.0 4.4
 
Personal consumption expenditures 2 1.0 1.9 6.8 9.4 -1.5
 
Private fixed investment 3 -30.4 9.5 17.8 5.4 -20.6
Change in Private Inventories 4 ........ ........ ........ ........ ....
Net exports 5 ........ ........ ........ ........ ....
  Exports 6 15.9 7.3 1.2 -5.1 -0.3
   Goods 7 19.3 7.1 0.7 -5.4 0.2
   Services 8 3.6 8.0 4.1 -3.1 -5.1
 Imports 9 17.5 7.5 1.4 -5.6 -5.8
   Goods 10 17.6 7.4 1.5 -5.6 -6.0
   Services 11 13.0 8.9 -1.8 -8.2 8.7
 
Government consumption
 expenditures and gross investment 12 -11.9 2.8 1.3 8.5 9.9
 Federal 13 3.3 5.6 -7.8 -5.8 4.1
 Territorial 14 -13.6 2.4 2.7 10.4 10.6


U.S. Virgin Islands
Table 4. Contributions to Percent Change in Real Gross Domestic Product
Line  
2003 2004 2005 2006 2007
Percent change:
  Gross domestic product 1 -1.2 3.5 3.7 4.0 4.4
Percentage points:
Personal consumption expenditures 2 0.35 0.70 2.31 3.24 -0.57
 
Private fixed investment 3 -4.24 0.90 1.72 0.60 -2.40
Change in private inventories 4 3.93 -0.67 -0.63 -1.06 -10.29
Net exports 5 1.93 1.97 0.04 -0.43 15.50
 Exports 6 27.45 16.52 3.17 -15.96 -1.08
   Goods 7 26.09 13.49 1.69 -14.87 0.66
   Services 8 1.36 3.03 1.49 -1.09 -1.74
 Imports 9 -25.52 -14.54 -3.13 15.52 16.58
   Goods 10 -24.82 -13.99 -3.25 15.04 17.03
   Services 11 -0.70 -0.55 0.12 0.48 -0.45
 
Government consumption
  expenditures and gross investment 12 -3.15 0.62 0.28 1.69 2.16
  Federal 13 0.08 0.15 -0.20 -0.13 0.09
  Territorial 14 -3.24 0.48 0.48 1.83 2.07


U.S. Virgin Islands
Table 5. Percent Change From Preceding Year in Prices for Gross Domestic Product
and Price Indexes for Gross Domestic Product
Line
2002
2003
2004
2005
2006
2007
[Percent]
    Gross domestic product 1 …….. 6.6 7.2 13.4 -2.6 2.1
Personal consumption expenditures 2 …….. 4.0 4.7 5.5 2.9 5.7
[Index numbers, 2005=100]
  Gross domestic product 3 77.2 82.3 88.2 100.0 97.4 99.5
Personal consumption expenditures 4 87.1 90.6 94.8 100.0 102.9 108.7


U.S. Virgin Islands
Table 6. Gross Domestic Income
Line
[Millions of dollars]
2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007
  Gross domestic income 1 3,085 3,248 3,605 4,240 4,298 4,580
Compensation of employees 2 1,684 1,673 1,769 1,911 2,043 2,154
Taxes on production and imports less subsidies 3 61 100 122 143 146 153
Gross operating surplus 4 1,340 1,474 1,714 2,186 2,108 2,272