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Palau Economy Profile 2018

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Economy - overviewThe economy is dominated by tourism, fishing, and subsistence agriculture. 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 reached a record 167,966 in 2015, a 14.4% increase over the previous year, but fell to 138,408 in 2016. 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.
GDP (purchasing power parity)$301 million (2017 est.)
$298 million (2016 est.)
$292.4 million (2015 est.)
note: data are in 2017 dollars
GDP (official exchange rate)$321 million (2016 est.)
GDP - real growth rate1% (2017 est.)
1.9% (2016 est.)
11.4% (2015 est.)
GDP - per capita (PPP)$16,700 (2017 est.)
$16,600 (2016 est.)
$16,200 (2015 est.)
note: data are in 2017 dollars
GDP - composition, by end usehousehold consumption: 60.6%
government consumption: 27.2%
investment in fixed capital: 22.6%
investment in inventories: 2%
exports of goods and services: 55.1%
imports of goods and services: -67.5% (2016)
GDP - composition by sectoragriculture: 3%
industry: 19%
services: 78% (2016 est.)
Population below poverty lineNA%
Labor force11,610 (2016)
Labor force - by occupationagriculture: 1.2%
industry: 12.4%
services: 86.4% (2016)
Unemployment rate1.7% (2015 est.)
4.1% (2012)
Household income or consumption by percentage sharelowest 10%: NA%
highest 10%: NA%
Budgetrevenues: $212.2 million
expenditures: $183.9 million (2012 est.)
Taxes and other revenues66.1% of GDP (2016 est.)
Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-)8.8% of GDP (2016 est.)
Public debt24.1% of GDP (2016 est.)
21.6% of GDP (2015)
Inflation rate (consumer prices)1.5% (2017 est.)
-1% (2016 est.)
Market value of publicly traded shares$NA
Agriculture - productscoconuts, cassava (manioc, tapioca), sweet potatoes; fish, pigs, chickens, eggs, bananas, papaya, breadfruit, calamansi, soursop, Polynesian chestnuts, Polynesian almonds, mangoes, taro, guava, beans, cucumbers, squash/pumpkins (various), eggplant, green onions, kangkong (watercress), cabbages (various), radishes, betel nuts, melons, peppers, noni, okra
Industriestourism, fishing, subsistence agriculture
Industrial production growth rateNA%
Current Account Balance-$39 million (2017 est.)
-$32 million (2016 est.)
Exports$117.5 million (2016 est.)
$14.8 million (2015 est.)
Exports - commoditiesshellfish, tuna, other fish (many species)
Exports - partnersGreece 82.4%, US 6.9% (2016)
Imports$179.3 million (2016 est.)
$156.8 million (2015 est.)
Imports - commoditiesmachinery and equipment, fuels, metals; foodstuffs
Imports - partnersUS 24.6%, Japan 19.8%, China 14.3%, Guam 14.2%, Philippines 4.4% (2016)
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold$580.9 million (31 December 2015 est.)
Debt - external$18.38 billion (31 December 2014 est.)
$16.47 billion (31 December 2013 est.)
Exchange ratesthe US dollar is used
Fiscal year1 October - 30 September

Source: CIA World Factbook
This page was last updated on January 20, 2018