Guam's economy posts slight increase

Guam’s grew .2 percent in 2017, which follows an increase of .3 percent in 2016, according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis. From $4.8 billion in 2010, Guam’s gross domestic product went up to $5.8 billion in 2017. “The growth in the Guam economy reflected an increase in consumer spending, which rose for the 7th year in a row. The increase in consumer spending largely reflected growth in retail trade activity,” the BEA said.

For comparison, real GDP for the United States increased 2.2 percent in 2017 after increasing 1.6 percent in 2016.

Overall, investment spending contributed negatively to the economy. Although territorial government spending on construction and equipment increased, this growth was offset by a decline in construction activity on Defense and private sector projects, the bureau said. BEA noted that exports of services, which consists primarily of spending by tourists, decreased after increasing for three years. Although total arrivals increased slightly, tourism spending decreased, reflecting declines in average spending by visitors.

“My goal from the very beginning was to take what we started with – more than $300 million in deficit with millions owed in tax refunds and an economy that was stuck in a rut — and turn that around. I wanted to ensure we laid a foundation from which future administrations would have solid footing for more growth,” Gov. Eddie Calvo said.

Calvo noted that the report reflected some of the challenges the island has faced with the sudden reversal of the H-2B visa policy by the Obama Administratio