The estimates of gross domestic product (GDP) for the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI) show that real GDP—GDP adjusted to remove price changes—decreased 19.6 percent in 2018 after increasing 25.5 percent in 2017. For comparison, real GDP for the United States (excluding the territories) increased 2.9 percent in 2018 after increasing 2.4 percent in 2017.
Exports of services decreased 38.8 percent, due to a decrease in visitor spending, including on casino gambling. Revenues from casino gambling dropped over 50 percent. The number of visitors to the CNMI decreased 21.5 percent, reflecting the effects of Typhoon Yutu, which made landfall on Saipan and Tinian in October 2018.
Private fixed investment decreased 19.8 percent, reflecting a decline in business spending on construction and equipment. However, business spending on construction and equipment remained at historically high levels, supported by continued development of the casino resort on Saipan and the start of post-typhoon repairs and reconstruction activity.
Partly offsetting the declines in exports of services and private fixed investment was growth in government spending, particularly by the federal government. Federal government spending more than doubled from the previous year, primarily due to recovery activities following Typhoon Yutu.