Seychelles is a small island nation consisting of a group of islands located in the Indian Ocean just northeast of Madagascar of the east coast of Africa. Population is 81,500. Seychelles obtained independence in 1976 from the United Kingdom. The mainstay of the economy is tourism, fishing and the evolvement into an offshore banking centre.
GDP as measured by purchasing power parity stands at $626 million USD (2002) with corresponding GDP/Capita at $7,800 USD. Total GDP at market prices is measured at $722 million USD (2005). Real GDP growth for 2005 fell 3 percent of GDP, it is projected to decline by a further 1.4 percent for 2006 and by 1.7 percent for 2007. Deflation is forecasted for 2006 at 0.7 percent with modest inflation for 2007 at 1.7 percent estimated. Inflation quotes include year 2005 at 4.4 percent, deflation occurred in 1995 at 0.3 percent. The trade deficit shortfall came in at $148 million USD (2005). Fiscal deficit was eliminated in 2004 although it was significant during 1996-99 at a 14 percent of GDP shortfall. Current account deficit at 10 to 17 percent of GDP during the 1990’s. Public debt stands at 130 percent of GDP, external debt is at $277 million USD (2005). Foreign exchange reserves including gold stand at $16.4 million USD. No oil & gas production.
CURRENCY: ISO Symbol ‘SCR’, Seychelles rupee. At time of review on June 16, 2006, the Seychelles rupee had an exchange valuation of 5.50 to the US-dollar (USD). The SCR is fixed to the USD at 5.5 SCR. The black market rate for the SCR is that about half the official rate, the variance in spread was particularly in play during the 1990’s.
CURRENCY HISTORY: the SCR came into circulation in 1914 replacing the Mauritian rupee at par. Historical exchange quotes include year 1993 at 5.18 SCR to the USD, 1994 at 5.06, 1995 at 4.76, 1996 at 4.97, 1997 at 5.02, January 1998 at 5.19, 2001 at 5.857, 2002 at 5.48, 2003 at 5.4, 2004 at 5.5 and 2005 at 5.5.
CURRENCY FORECAST: devaluation is likely as the currency is overvalued, sluggish economic growth. In the short term, the exchange rate is likely to remain the same with the lifting of currency controls. Seychelles implemented controls in 2001 in order to curb black market activity and it expects to have most of the controls eliminated by year end 2006 reflecting more market driven policies.
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