The economy of the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands grew 3.5 percent in 2015, according to new data from the Bureau of Economic Analysis.
That 3.5 percent growth figure is for real GDP – that is, GDP adjusted for inflation. In 2014, the Northern Mariana Islands’ economy saw real GDP increase by 2.8 percent. For comparison, real GDP for the United States (excluding the territories) increased 2.6 percent in 2015, after increasing 2.4 percent in 2014.
The growth in the CNMI economy was boosted by private fixed investment, which increased over 60 percent in 2015. This growth reflected investments by the gaming industry, including a temporary training facility and an integrated casino resort under construction in Garapan.
Territorial government spending increased, reflecting recovery operations and reconstruction following Typhoon Soudelor. The typhoon struck the CNMI in early August 2015, damaging the local power plant and the island’s power distribution systems.
Exports of services, which consists primarily of spending by tourists, grew for the fourth year in a row. The increase reflected growth in visitor arrivals from Korea and China.
Increases to real GDP were partly offset by an increase in imports of goods and services, which is a subtraction item in the calculation of GDP.
GDP estimates for the CNMI were developed under the Statistical Improvement Program funded by the Office of Insular Affairs of the U.S. Department of the Interior. Revised estimates of GDP for 2013 and 2014, as well as revised estimates of GDP by industry and compensation by industry for 2013, are presented available. For more information, read the full report.