PACIFIC ISLANDS REPORT
Pacific Islands Development Program/East-West Center
Center for Pacific Islands Studies/University of Hawai‘i at Manoa
TUVALU'S INFLATION REMAINS LOW
FUNAFUTI, Tuvalu (May 25, 1999 - PACNEWS)---The Asian Development Bank (ADB) reports that Tuvalu’s inflation rate remained low, in line with rates in Australia and Fiji -- the country’s major sources of imports.
According to ADB’s Annual Report for 1998, real Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in Tuvalu grew by an estimated two percent last year.
"With merchandise exports financing only five percent of imports, continued reliance was placed on fishing and telecommunications license fees, remittances from overseas workers, official transfers, and investment income from overseas assets to cover the trade deficit," the report said.
"The (Tuvalu) Government continued to maintain a conservative fiscal policy stance that involved balancing the recurrent budget, maintaining the real value per capita of the Tuvalu Trust fund, and funding development expenditures from foreign aid."
The ADB report said emphasis was again given to improved governance, and greater and more effective expenditures on health and education.
"Another focus is greater equality of income distribution between Funafuti and the outer islands, for which the Government planned to establish an Island Development Fund.
"The bank’s operational strategy for Tuvalu aims to promote sustainable economic and social development through human development, reform of the public sector (including corporatization of Government businesses), enhancement of private sector development, and improvement of economic conditions of outer islands."