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Palau: Economy#

The economy consists of tourism and other services such as trade, subsistence agriculture, and fishing. Government is a major employer of the work force relying on financial assistance from the US under the Compact of Free Association (Compact) with the US that took effect after the end of the UN trusteeship on 1 October 1994. The US provided Palau with roughly $700 million in aid for the first 15 years following commencement of the Compact in 1994 in return for unrestricted access to its land and waterways for strategic purposes. The population enjoys a per capita income roughly double that of the Philippines and much of Micronesia.

Business and leisure tourist arrivals numbered over 125,000 in fiscal year 2014, a 13.4% increase over the previous year. Long-run prospects for tourism have been bolstered by the expansion of air travel in the Pacific, the rising prosperity of industrial East Asia, and the willingness of foreigners to finance infrastructure development. Proximity to Guam, the region's major destination for tourists from East Asia, and a regionally competitive tourist infrastructure enhance Palau's advantage as a destination.

Economic Facts#

GDP (purchasing power parity)$276 million (2016 est.)
$276 million (2015 est.)
$252.3 million (2014 est.)
note: data are in 2016 dollars
GDP (official exchange rate)$296 million (2015 est.)
GDP - real growth rate0% (2016 est.)
9.4% (2015 est.)
4.2% (2014 est.)
GDP - per capita (PPP)$15,300 (2016 est.)
$15,300 (2015 est.)
$14,000 (2014 est.)
note: data are in 2016 dollars
GDP - composition, by sector of originagriculture: 3.2%
industry: 20%
services: 76.8% (2012 est.)
Agriculture - productscoconuts, copra, cassava (manioc, tapioca), sweet potatoes; fish
Industriestourism, craft items (from shell, wood, pearls), construction, garment making
Industrial production growth rateNA%
Labor force10,470 (2014)
Labor force - by occupationagriculture: 20%
industry: NA%
services: NA% (1990)
Unemployment rate4.2% (2005 est.)
Population below poverty lineNA%
Household income or consumption by percentage sharelowest 10%: NA%
highest 10%: NA%
Budgetrevenues: $123.6 million
expenditures: $97.53 million (2012 est.)
Taxes and other revenues41.8% of GDP (2012 est.)
Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-)8.8% of GDP (2012 est.)
Fiscal year1 October - 30 September
Inflation rate (consumer prices)2% (2016 est.)
2.2% (2015 est.)
Market value of publicly traded shares$NA
Current account balance-$16 million (2016 est.)
-$1 million (2015 est.)
Exports$19.1 million (2014 est.)
$14.4 million (2013 est.)
Exports - commoditiesshellfish, tuna, copra, garments
Imports$177.7 million (2014 est.)
$146.5 million (2013 est.)
Imports - commoditiesmachinery and equipment, fuels, metals; foodstuffs
Debt - external$18.38 billion (31 December 2014 est.)
$16.47 billion (31 December 2013 est.)
Exchange ratesthe US dollar is used