Gregorio Sablan

02/05/2023 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 02/05/2023 14:40

GDP plunged 29.7% in 2020

Gross Domestic Product in the Northern Marianas declined 29.7 percent in 2020, marking the worst year for the economy since before 2002. The Bureau of Economic Analysis released preliminary estimates of the 2020 data. The decline in economic activity was largely due to the COVID-related drop in tourism, although a slowdown in construction and reduced government expenditures added to the loss.

Despite the lack of tourists, private sector workers' earnings fell only slightly and compensation to government workers actually went up during 2020. This helped support consumer spending, which, though also down slightly, got help from the $180 million in Pandemic Unemployment Assistance and Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation Congress provided in the CARES Act during 2020. The Bureau of Economic Analysis characterized Tuesday's release as preliminary, because the Commonwealth government's 2020 audited financial statements are unavailable. Gross Domestic Product for Guam also dropped in 2020, but only by 11.4 percent. 2021 GDP for Guam, where data is more available, was up 1.1 percent.