Economy of Guam
The economy of Guam depends mainly on US military spending and on tourist revenue. Over the past 20 years, the tourist industry grew rapidly, creating a construction boom for new hotels, golf courses and other tourist amenities. More than 1.1 million tourists visit Guam each year including about 1,000,000 from Japan and 150,000 from Korea. Setbacks in the 1990s including numerous super-typhoons, an 8.1 earthquake, and a Korean airline crash. More recently, SARS, the Iraq war and most importantly the Japan economy and accompanying yen-to-dollar adjustments have significantly impacted tourism with spending per person in retail and attraction sectors now nearly 50% compared to their peak in the mid-1990s. Nevertheless, as of 2005 tourism is finally starting to stabilize and recover.
Most food and industrial goods are imported. As Guam's tourist economy continues to slowly recover, over $1 billion in military spending on the island is projected in the coming several years. The Government of Guam (GovGuam) is the biggest employer on the island (exceeding the tourism industry and the federal military), with a payroll and retirement burden that has led in recent years to an ongoing and growing budget deficit.
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