21 Mar 2014

US Congressional members hears of tough times in American Samoa

12:09 pm on 21 March 2014

The U.S. Department of Interior has informed congressional members about American Samoa's challenging economic conditions.

The department provided the information in its 2015 fiscal year budget proposal justification saying that American Samoa experienced "economic distress" in 2012.

The budget justification says estimates show that the value of the territory's real GDP was 7.5 percent lower than in 2002.

For the year 2011, the increase in real GDP, reflected growth in federal government spending largely related to continued reconstruction efforts following the 2009 earthquake and tsunami.

Since 2011, consumer spending has fallen as residents face increases in prices, and a downturn in territorial government spending.

However the Department of Interior says there is a potential bright spot on the horizon, with Tri Marine International, planning to open a cannery later this year.