UOG team releases 2018 Guam Economic Report

UOG team releases 2018 Guam Economic Report

UOG team releases 2018 Guam Economic Report


2018 Guam Economic ReportGuam’s economy has grown 1.08% on average per year between 2002 and 2017, but its growth momentum has slowed since 2010, where it averaged a mere 0.84% growth per year. The latest estimated growth, in 2017, was only 0.2%. How did Guam’s $5.2 billion economy fare in 2018?

A research team at the University of Guam Regional Center for Public Policy has developed the “2018 Guam Economic Report” to answer this and other questions about the economy moving into 2019 and the island community that depends on it.

The team, headed by Economics Professor Maria Claret M. Ruane, included research fellows Alex Aflague, Rebecca Casimbon, and Luisa Tenorio, who are all UOG alumni.

Ruane was the principal author of the first-ever “2016 CNMI Economic Report” for the Northern Mariana Islands. She also previously produced a similar annual report for First Hawaiian Bank between 2010 and 2015, but it has since been discontinued.

“This endeavor is aimed at filling the gap left by the discontinuation of the FHB annual publication and to provide much-needed and timely information and analysis about Guam’s economy,” Ruane said. “It will be resource for current and prospective business interests, analysts, individuals, and stakeholders on- and off-island.”

The leadership of School of Business & Public Administration Dean Dr. Annette T. Santos and RCPP Director Dr. John J. Rivera also made report possible, as well as the seed money provided by the University of Guam Endowment Foundation.

Some positive and negative developments highlighted in the “2018 Guam Economic Report” are as follows:

  • The Trump tax cuts, which meant $140 million less tax revenues for the Government of Guam but larger paychecks for many residents and families.
  • An election year with many “firsts”: the first female governor of Guam, a female-dominated Guam Legislature, and the return of Democratic leadership in the Executive Branch for the first time in 16 years.
  • Near record low unemployment rate while the number of people not participating in the labor force is higher and increasing.
  • Relatively low inflation expected to go down further.
  • Lower business spending continued in 2018 in response to uncertainties.
  • A shift in tourism as Korea surpassed Japan as the No. 1 in market share.
  • A slightly higher amount of federal government contracts on Guam and an increase in National Defense Authorization Act–approved military construction projects in Guam expected to increase even more.

Read the full report here.