Economic growth expected to decline in Guam in 2019
The outlook for the Guamanian economy in 2019 is less optimistic than in 2018, as a slowdown in economic growth is expected.
Despite this less optimistic outlook in the common months, as reported by recent University of Guam-based statistics, Guam’s economy is still expected to grow, even though it may be at a lower rate than was seen in 2018. While inflation for 2018 was approximately 2.6%, wages increases in the private sector of 3% and increases in the public sector of 2.8% offset inflation, and even beat it out last year. These signs reflect a positive lining to the slowing economy, as a higher rate of wage growth than the rate of inflation results in higher spending power for local residents of Guam, and in turn providing greater financial options. The unemployment rate has decreased to under 4% in recent months, currently sitting at 3.8% as the number of people not participating in the workforce is down to 49,380 from the previous number of 51,660.
In addition to these numbers, tourism is expected to increase in 2019, as projections are showing that Guam will see more visitors in the year ahead. The hope is to sustain this growth on the territory, and increase amenities, cleanliness, and security to attract a sustainable flow of tourism revenue.
The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 also caused budget shortfalls in Guam, which has shaken government financial stability as the economy has continue to slow from its earlier growth. Guam has, however, seen a $350 million investment from government sources towards military services on the territory, which reflects a massive aspect of the Guamanian economy.
The mixed results of the economic forecast for Guam in the upcoming months shows both bright spots and uncertainties for the territory’s economic prosperity. As 2019 progresses it is expected that Guam’s economy will remain relatively stable, however factors including government funding, tourism, and employment rate will be tracked closely to ensure that decline in growth does not continue.