Flag of Tuvalu

Tuvalu Economy Profile 2018

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Economy - overviewTuvalu consists of a densely populated, scattered group of nine coral atolls with poor soil. Only eight of the atolls are inhabited. It is one of the smallest countries in the world, with its highest point at 4.6 meters above sea level. The country is isolated, almost entirely dependent on imports, particularly of food and fuel, and vulnerable to climate change and rising sea levels, which pose significant challenges to development.

The public sector dominates economic activity. Tuvalu has few natural resources, except for its fisheries. Earnings from fish exports and fishing licenses for Tuvalu’s territorial waters are a significant source of government revenue. In 2013, revenue from fishing licenses doubled and totaled more than 45% of GDP.

Official aid from foreign development partners has also increased. Tuvalu has substantial assets abroad. The Tuvalu Trust Fund, an international trust fund established in 1987 by development partners, has grown to $104 million (A$141 million) in 2014 and is an important cushion for meeting shortfalls in the government's budget. While remittances are another substantial source of income, the value of remittances has declined since the 2008-09 global financial crisis, but has stabilized at nearly $4 million per year. The financial impact of climate change and the cost of climate related adaptation projects is one of many concerns for the nation.
GDP (purchasing power parity)$42 million (2017 est.)
$40.68 million (2016 est.)
$39.48 million (2015 est.)
note: data are in 2017 dollars
GDP (official exchange rate)$40 million (2016 est.)
GDP - real growth rate3.2% (2017 est.)
3% (2016 est.)
9.1% (2015 est.)
GDP - per capita (PPP)$3,800 (2017 est.)
$3,700 (2016 est.)
$3,600 (2015 est.)
note: data are in 2017 dollars
GDP - composition by sectoragriculture: 24.5%
industry: 5.6%
services: 70% (2012 est.)
Population below poverty line26.3% (2010 est.)
Labor force3,615 (2004 est.)
Labor force - by occupationnote: people make a living mainly through exploitation of the sea, reefs, and atolls and through overseas remittances (mostly from workers in the phosphate industry and sailors)
Unemployment rateNA%
Household income or consumption by percentage sharelowest 10%: NA%
highest 10%: NA%
Budgetrevenues: $42.68 million
expenditures: $32.46 million (2013 est.)
Taxes and other revenues106.7% of GDP (2013 est.)
Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-)25.6% of GDP (2013 est.)
Public debt53.7% of GDP (2016 est.)
58.2% of GDP (2015 est.)
Inflation rate (consumer prices)2.9% (2017 est.)
3.5% (2016 est.)
Commercial bank prime lending rate10.6% (31 December 2013 est.)
10.6% (31 December 2012 est.)
Market value of publicly traded shares$0 (2014)
Agriculture - productscoconuts; fish
Industrial production growth rate-26.1% (2012 est.)
Current Account Balance-$15 million (2017 est.)
-$12 million (2016 est.)
Exports$600,000 (2010 est.)
$1 million (2004 est.)
Exports - commoditiescopra, fish
Exports - partnersBosnia and Herzegovina 24.8%, Singapore 18.8%, Nigeria 17.3%, Fiji 14.5%, US 6% (2016)
Imports$136.5 million (2013 est.)
$238.6 million (2012 est.)
Imports - commoditiesfood, animals, mineral fuels, machinery, manufactured goods
Imports - partnersSingapore 51.3%, NZ 9.4%, Australia 8.6%, US 6.8%, Japan 6.1%, Fiji 5.9% (2016)
Debt - external$NA
Exchange ratesTuvaluan dollars or Australian dollars (AUD) per US dollar -
1.67 (2014 est.)
1.352 (2013 est.)
Fiscal yearcalendar year

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