Central Bank provides economy update for April
As of April 2019, Samoa’s total exports of goods amounted to $99.34 million, according to the Central Bank of Samoa.
This is 45.4 percent higher than $70.19 million in the first nine months of 2017/18, said the C.B.S in their local economy update for the first 10 months of 2018/19.
The total imports of good totaled $680.18 million, which is 9.7 percent higher than $620.01 million in the first nine months to March 2018. Net trade of goods deficit was $580.84 million, 5.3 percent higher than $551.71 million in the first nine months of 2017/2018, it said.
According to the bank, local nominal gross domestic product (G.D.P.) for the December 2018 quarter was $569.74 million, 7.9 percent higher than $528.20 million in December 2017 quarter.
For the 12 months ending December 2018, Samoa’s annual G.D.P. recorded $2,156.41 million or 2.4 percent higher than $2,106.17 million for the same period up to December 2017.
The bank also noted a 1.5 percent increase in G.D.P. per capita for 12 months ending December, from $10,848 for the same period up to December 2017 to $11,007.
On Real G.D.P., the bank noted a 6.0 percent increase from $488.81 million in the December 2017 quarter to $518.17 million in the December 2018 quarter.
For the 12 months ending December 2018, Samoa’s real G.D.P. totaled $2,005.43 million or 0.7 percent higher than $1,992.34 million for the same period the previous year.
The annual average consumer price index inflation rate, the bank said: “Fell for the sixth consecutive month, down to 3.1 percent at end April 2019, from 3.3 percent in the previous month, but was still higher than 2.9 percent in April 2018.
“This monthly decline was underpinned by reductions in both its local and imported components, down to 3.9 percent (from 4.1 percent) and 2.3 percent (from 2.5 percent) respectively.
“Similarly, the underlying inflation rate also continued to decelerate, falling to 1.2 percent from 1.4 percent in March 2019 and 3.4 percent in April last year.”
Highlighting surveys done by the Samoa Bureau of Statistics, the Bank said average volume of agricultural produce supplied to local markets around Apia dropped by 7.7 percent compared to the same period last year.
“The overall reduction in overall quantity was due to decreases in supplies of staple crops such as taro, banana, ta’amu and yams as well as vegetable items such as head cabbage, tomatoes, cucumber and Chinese cabbage.
“As a result, the average price index of agricultural produce sold at the local markets rose by 11.6 percent in the reviewed period.”
According to the bank, total visitor arrivals for the reviewed period were 148,807, which is 11.2 percent higher than 133,852 compared to the same period the previous year. Total receipts were $423.99 million, 15.8 percent higher than $366 million in the previous period.
Private remittances amounted to $452.06 million, 13.4 percent higher than $398.74 million in the first 10 months of 2017/18.
At the end of April 2019, the gross official foreign reserve is $465.43 million, 23.1 percent higher than $378.16 million in the same month last year.
“Sufficient to cover 6.4 months of imports, compared to 5.5 months in April 2018.”
For debt stock at the end of December 2018, it stood at $1,063.9 million (49.3 percent of nominal G.D.P.), 0.1 percent higher than $1,062.84 million at end December 2017 (50.5 percent of nominal G.D.P.)
According to the annual debt servicing at the end of December 2018 was $71.70 million, which was 19.1 percent higher than $60.20 million in the year up to December 2017.
This was equivalent to: 11.5 percent of recurrent revenue; 16.1 percent of foreign reserves; or 8.9 percent of total exports of goods and services.