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Samoa: Economy#

The economy of Samoa has traditionally been dependent on development aid, family remittances from overseas, tourism, agriculture, and fishing. It has a nominal GDP of $780 million. Agriculture, including fishing, employs roughly two-thirds of the labor force and furnishes 90% of exports, featuring fish, coconut oil, nonu products, and taro. The manufacturing sector mainly processes agricultural products. One factory in the Foreign Trade Zone employs 1,000 people to make automobile electrical harnesses for an assembly plant in Australia, and accounts for 65% of total exports. Industry accounts for nearly 15% of GDP while employing less than 6% of the work force. The service sector accounts for nearly three-quarters of GDP and employs approximately 50% of the labor force. Tourism is an expanding sector accounting for 25% of GDP; 132,000 tourists visited the islands in 2013.

The country is vulnerable to devastating storms. In September 2009, an earthquake and the resulting tsunami severely damaged Samoa and nearby American Samoa, disrupting transportation and power generation, and resulting in about 200 deaths. In December 2012, extensive flooding and wind damage from Tropical Cyclone Evan killed four people, displaced over 6,000, and damaged or destroyed an estimated 1,500 homes on Samoa's Upolu Island.

The Samoan Government has called for deregulation of the country's financial sector, encouragement of investment, and continued fiscal discipline, while at the same time protecting the environment. Foreign reserves are relatively healthy and inflation is low, but external debt is approximately 55% of GDP. Samoa became the 155th member of the WTO in May 2012, and graduated from least developed country (LDC) status in January 2014.

Economic Facts#

GDP (purchasing power parity)$1.046 billion (2016 est.)
$1.015 billion (2015 est.)
$999.1 million (2014 est.)
note: data are in 2016 dollars
GDP (official exchange rate)$876 million (2015 est.)
GDP - real growth rate3% (2016 est.)
1.6% (2015 est.)
1.2% (2014 est.)
GDP - per capita (PPP)$5,400 (2016 est.)
$5,300 (2015 est.)
$5,200 (2014 est.)
note: data are in 2016 dollars
GDP - composition, by sector of originagriculture: 10.7%
industry: 24%
services: 65.4% (2016 est.)
Agriculture - productscoconuts, nonu, bananas, taro, yams, coffee, cocoa
Industriesfood processing, building materials, auto parts
Industrial production growth rate6.4% (2016 est.)
Labor force49,180 (2013 est.)
Labor force - by occupationagriculture: 65%
industry: NA%
services: NA%
Unemployment rateNA%
Population below poverty lineNA%
Household income or consumption by percentage sharelowest 10%: NA%
highest 10%: NA%
Budgetrevenues: $233 million
expenditures: $271.8 million (2016 est.)
Taxes and other revenues26.6% of GDP (2016 est.)
Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-)-4.4% of GDP (2016 est.)
Fiscal yearJune 1 - May 31
Inflation rate (consumer prices)2% (2016 est.)
0.7% (2015 est.)
Commercial bank prime lending rate9.4% (31 December 2016 est.)
9.39% (31 December 2015 est.)
Stock of narrow money$129.6 million (31 December 2016 est.)
$116.5 million (31 December 2015 est.)
Stock of broad money$352 million (31 December 2016 est.)
$334.4 million (31 December 2015 est.)
Stock of domestic credit$382.4 million (31 December 2016 est.)
$360.8 million (31 December 2015 est.)
Market value of publicly traded shares$NA
Current account balance-$29 million (2016 est.)
-$31 million (2015 est.)
Exports$24 million (2013 est.)
$27.5 million (2014 est.)
Exports - commoditiesfish, coconut oil and cream, nonu, copra, taro, automotive parts, garments, beer
Exports - partnersAmerican Samoa 57.1%, Australia 17.2% (2015)
Imports$325.3 million (2013 est.)
$341.3 million (2014 est.)
Imports - commoditiesmachinery and equipment, industrial supplies, foodstuffs
Imports - partnersFiji 22.6%, NZ 18.8%, China 15.8%, South Korea 7.9%, Australia 6%, US 5.6%, Singapore 5.2% (2015)
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold$139.4 million (31 December 2015 est.)
$140.7 million (31 December 2014 est.)
Debt - external$447.2 million (31 December 2013 est.)
$450.2 million (31 December 2014 est.)
Exchange ratestala (SAT) per US dollar -
2.575 (2016 est.)
2.5609 (2015 est.)
2.5609 (2014 est.)
2.3318 (2013 est.)
2.29 (2012 est.)