APIA, SAMOA (29 September 2023) — Samoa’s economy is forecast to have grown by 6.0% in financial year 2023 and is expected moderate to 4.2% in financial year 2024 (ending June 2024), says the Asian Development Outlook (ADO) September 2023, an update to ADB’s flagship economic publication. Both estimates are an upward revision from ADO April 2023.
The outlook for the Pacific subregion is also revised up from the projections in April. The subregion is projected to grow by 3.5% in 2023 and 2.9% in 2024.
“Despite Samoa’s tourism rebound, labor constraints are becoming increasingly prominent and may be a drag on future growth if not mitigated,” said ADB Chief Economist Albert Park. “Interventions to support growth may include skills training, immigration, and labor force participation.”
Labor turnover has been significant, especially in tourism services, and continued growth in labor participation as well as attracting former residents and overseas workers back to the domestic market will be needed to boost growth.
Tourism continues to rally in 2023 as visitor arrivals recovered to near pre-pandemic levels. This momentum is forecast to continue into 2024. Construction, commerce, and services sectors will receive an additional lift from the increased mobilization of public spending.
The report notes that inflation is a growing challenge for the country due to domestic and import price pressures. Average inflation was 12.0% for financial year 2023 but is expected to moderate to 5.3% in financial year 2024, a higher rate than previously forecast.
ADB is committed to achieving a prosperous, inclusive, resilient, and sustainable Asia and the Pacific, while sustaining its efforts to eradicate extreme poverty. Established in 1966, it is owned by 68 members—49 from the region.