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Samoa Economy Profile 2018

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Economy - overviewThe economy of Samoa has traditionally been dependent on development aid, family remittances from overseas, tourism, agriculture, and fishing. It has a nominal GDP of $830 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 over 700 people to make automobile electrical harnesses for an assembly plant in Australia, and accounts for 65% of total exports, but it is set to close by yearend 2017. Industry accounts for nearly 24% 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 45% of GDP. Samoa became the 155th member of the WTO in May 2012, and graduated from least developed country status in January 2014.
GDP (purchasing power parity)$1.13 billion (2017 est.)
$1.106 billion (2016 est.)
$1.033 billion (2015 est.)
note: data are in 2017 dollars
GDP (official exchange rate)$844 million (2016 est.)
GDP - real growth rate2.1% (2017 est.)
7.1% (2016 est.)
1.6% (2015 est.)
GDP - per capita (PPP)$5,700 (2017 est.)
$5,700 (2016 est.)
$5,300 (2015 est.)
note: data are in 2017 dollars
GDP - composition by sectoragriculture: 10.4%
industry: 23.6%
services: 66% (2017 est.)
Population below poverty lineNA%
Labor force50,700 (2016 est.)
Labor force - by occupationagriculture: 65%
industry: 6%
services: 29% (2015 est.)
Unemployment rateNA%
Unemployment, youth ages 15-24total: 19.1%
male: 15.6%
female: 25.3% (2014 est.)
Household income or consumption by percentage sharelowest 10%: NA%
highest 10%: NA%
Budgetrevenues: $233.8 million
expenditures: $272.8 million (2017 est.)
Taxes and other revenues27.7% of GDP (2017 est.)
Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-)-4.6% of GDP (2017 est.)
Public debt52.6% of GDP (2016 est.)
57.8% of GDP (2015 est.)
Inflation rate (consumer prices)1.8% (2017 est.)
0.1% (2016 est.)
Commercial bank prime lending rate8.9% (31 December 2017 est.)
9.12% (31 December 2016 est.)
Stock of narrow money$137.5 million (31 December 2017 est.)
$131.7 million (31 December 2016 est.)
Stock of broad money$381.9 million (31 December 2017 est.)
$367 million (31 December 2016 est.)
Stock of domestic credit$383.7 million (31 December 2017 est.)
$380.2 million (31 December 2016 est.)
Market value of publicly traded shares$NA
Agriculture - productscoconuts, nonu, bananas, taro, yams, coffee, cocoa
Industriesfood processing, building materials, auto parts
Industrial production growth rate1.1% (2017 est.)
Current Account Balance-$48 million (2017 est.)
-$48 million (2016 est.)
Exports$27.5 million (2014 est.)
$33.8 million (2015 est.)
Exports - commoditiesfish, coconut oil and cream, nonu, copra, taro, automotive parts, garments, beer
Exports - partnersAustralia 30.2%, American Samoa 21.7%, Afghanistan 11.2%, NZ 10.1%, US 5.6% (2016)
Imports$341.3 million (2014 est.)
$297.7 million (2015 est.)
Imports - commoditiesmachinery and equipment, industrial supplies, foodstuffs
Imports - partnersNZ 23%, Singapore 14%, China 13.5%, US 10.2%, Australia 9.9%, Fiji 6.3%, Japan 5% (2016)
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold$99.31 million (31 December 2016 est.)
$122.5 million (31 December 2015 est.)
Debt - external$447.2 million (31 December 2013 est.)
$437.4 million (31 December 2015 est.)
Exchange ratestala (SAT) per US dollar -
2.566 (2017 est.)
2.565 (2016 est.)
2.565 (2015 est.)
2.5609 (2014 est.)
2.3318 (2013 est.)
Fiscal yearJune 1 - May 31

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