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Marshall Islands: Economy#

US assistance and lease payments for the use of Kwajalein Atoll as a US military base are the mainstay of this small island country. Agricultural production, primarily subsistence, is concentrated on small farms; the most important commercial crops are coconuts and breadfruit. Industry is limited to handicrafts, tuna processing, and copra. Tourism holds some potential. The islands and atolls have few natural resources, and imports exceed exports.

The Marshall Islands received roughly $1 billion in aid from the US during 1986-2001 under the original Compact of Free Association (Compact). In 2002 and 2003, the US and the Marshall Islands renegotiated the Compact's financial package for a 20-year period, from 2004 to 2024. Under the amended Compact, the Marshall Islands will receive roughly $1.5 billion in direct US assistance. Under the amended Compact, the US and Marshall Islands are also jointly funding a Trust Fund for the people of the Marshall Islands that will provide an income stream beyond 2024, when direct Compact aid ends.

Economic Facts#

GDP (purchasing power parity)$180 million (2016 est.)
$176.9 million (2015 est.)
$174.5 million (2014 est.)
note: data are in 2016 dollars
GDP (official exchange rate)$188 million (2015 est.)
GDP - real growth rate1.7% (2016 est.)
1.4% (2015 est.)
0.4% (2014 est.)
GDP - per capita (PPP)$3,300 (2016 est.)
$3,200 (2015 est.)
$3,200 (2014 est.)
note: data are in 2016 dollars
GDP - composition, by sector of originagriculture: 4.4%
industry: 9.9%
services: 85.7% (2013 est.)
Agriculture - productscoconuts, tomatoes, melons, taro, breadfruit, fruits; pigs, chickens
Industriescopra, tuna processing, tourism, craft items (from seashells, wood, and pearls)
Industrial production growth rateNA%
Labor force10,670 (2013 est.)
Labor force - by occupationagriculture: 11%
industry: 16.3%
services: 72.7% (2011 est.)
Unemployment rate36% (2006 est.)
30.9% (2000 est.)
Population below poverty lineNA%
Household income or consumption by percentage sharelowest 10%: NA%
highest 10%: NA%
Budgetrevenues: $116.7 million
expenditures: $113.9 million (2013 est.)
Taxes and other revenues62.1% of GDP (2013 est.)
Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-)1.5% of GDP (2013 est.)
Public debt51.3% of GDP (2013)
Fiscal year1 October - 30 September
Inflation rate (consumer prices)0.7% (2016 est.)
-2.2% (2015 est.)
Current account balance-$14 million (2016 est.)
-$6 million (2015 est.)
Exports$53.7 million (2013 est.)
$58.1 million (2012)
Exports - commoditiescopra cake, coconut oil, handicrafts, fish
Imports$133.7 million (2013 est.)
$120.9 million (2012)
Imports - commoditiesfoodstuffs, machinery and equipment, fuels, beverages, tobacco
Debt - external$97.96 million (2013 est.)
$87 million (2008 est.)
Exchange ratesthe US dollar is used