All sectors of Jordan's economy recorded positive growth in the third quarter of 2002, allowing total gross domestic product (GDP) to grow 5.3 per cent, according to government figures reported in the daily Jordan Times on 12 December. Leading the way were the manufacturing industries, with 11 per cent growth, while tourism grew least at 2 per cent. Agricultural growth was estimated at 9 per cent, banking and finance at 8 per cent, and construction at 7.7 per cent. However, total GDP will have to grow even faster in the final quarter, by between 5.5 and 5.6 per cent, if the government is to meet its 5.1 per cent target for the year as a whole.
Further positive economic news came from the department of statistics on 12 December, as figures were released showing that Jordan's trade deficit narrowed to JD 1,300 million ($1,831 million) at the end of October 2002, compared with JD 1,500 million ($2,113 million) at the same time last year. Clothing was the biggest foreign currency earner, accounting for 22 per cent of export revenues over the 10 months, while pharmaceuticals came second at 10 per cent. Iraq was the kingdom's biggest customer, with 20 per cent of total sales, and the US was next with10 per cent.
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