9 Sep 2008

CNMI economy declines in second quarter

9:43 am on 9 September 2008

Key segments of the CNMI's economy such as banking, tourism, and car sales are showing signs of serious decline.

James Arenovski, president of the Saipan Chamber of Commerce, says Saipan's unreliable electric power system, private sector fears over the pending federal takeover of the CNMI's immigration rules, and the slow death of the local garment manufacturing industry have all contributed to the "instability and uncertainty" businesses are experiencing.

A 16-page Commerce Department report shows that the amount of money deposited in local banks fell an estimated $37 million in the second quarter of the year.

Automotive sales were down 24 percent below first quarter figures and the Commonwealth's tourism industry, took a major hit in the second quarter due to a 15-percent drop in visitor arrivals below first quarter numbers.

Imports to the CNMI have risen by more than 6,000 tons over last quarter with imports of petroleum, oil, and lubricants showing the largest jump.

The value of exports however, declined in the second quarter by more than 46 percent