Economically the World Bank categorizes São Tomé and Príncipe as a lower middle-income state with what it calls a fragile economy.
This is not a mischaracterization as the country relies heavily on the tourism sector, making it much more susceptible to external and exogenous shocks. This assertion is confirmed by the African Development Bank, which reported in its economic outlook on São Tomé and Príncipe that the country’s economy shrank by an estimated 6.4% in 2020 after growing by 2.2% in 2018 and 1.3% in 2019.
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For the first time in a decade, the contraction in output is attributed to a sharp decline in tourism and service sectors, which were severely hurt by weak external and domestic demand and COVID–19 containment measures.
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