6 Dec 2011

Bank: CNMI economy continues to lack promise

11:51 am on 6 December 2011

Weak tourism numbers, increasing labour costs and rising fuel and shipping prices, are being blamed for weakening the economy in the Northern Mariana Islands.

The First Hawaiian Bank has released a report on the economic analysis of Guam and the CNMI.

The report was prepared by the resident development economist at the University of Guam-Pacific Center for Economic Initiatives.

Dr Maria Claret Ruane says the economy of the Commonwealth of the Northern Marianas Islands continues to lack promise.

Dr Ruane says tourism, which has been on a decline for some time, took a turn for the worse as a result of the earthquake and tsunami in Japan, the main source of CNMI tourists.

She says local businesses face weak demand, a 66-percent rise in labor costs since 2007, and increased fuel and shipping costs.