Samoa: Economy

Increased construction and steady tourism performance reversed the downturn in Samoa. Growth is expected to accelerate this year before slowing somewhat next year.

Selected Economic Indicators (%) - Samoa 2015 2016
GDP Growth 2.5 2.2
Inflation 2.5 2.0
Current Account Balance (share of GDP) -10.9 -9.4

Source: ADB estimates.

Economic performance

Samoa’s economy grew by 1.9% in Fiscal Year 2014 (ended 30 June 2014) on spending to prepare for the 2014 United Nations Small Island Developing States Conference and continued reconstruction following Cyclone Evan in December 2012.

Tourism remains a key income source. In FY2014, Samoa welcomed about 127,000 visitors, close to the number received in FY2013.

Economic prospects

Tourism and public infrastructure development will continue to drive growth in the South Pacific, but contributions from agriculture should increase as projects implemented with development partners boost the sector.

The Samoan economy is expected to expand by 2.5% in FY2015 as tourism continues to recover. It is expected that visitor arrivals in FY2015 will be 5.0% higher than in the previous year largely because of the United Nations conference in September 2014. Samoa is expecting record visitor arrivals in FY2016 as it hosts the Commonwealth Youth Games in September 2015 and adds new accommodation capacity. Record visitor arrivals should propel growth, which is expected to reach 2.2% in FY2016.

Excerpted from the Asian Development Outlook 2015.