Economist: No return to normal after the pandemic

Bank of Guam economist Joe Bradley at the Rotary Club of Northern Guam. (PNC photo)

By Ella Cruz

Bank of Guam chief economist Joe Bradley spoke about the island’s economy Wednesday during a meeting of the Rotary Club of Northern Guam at the Hilton’s Fisherman’s Cove.

Bradley spoke about the state of Guam’s economy and how it has been affected by the pandemic.

Topics ranged from unemployment to tourism and supply chain disruptions.

Bradley said that 40% of Guam’s economy depends on tourism and that currently, people are less likely to return to their former employers because employers are not paying enough.

He says that in his opinion, Guam’s economy will not return to normal after the pandemic.

“And so people keep talking about returning to normal…well, that’s not gonna happen. It’s gonna be different. In fact, even if I haven’t been in town in the pandemic…things would be different today than it would in 2019. But I think now it’s going to be a lot different than it always would be,” he said.

Bradley also talked about the weaknesses in the global economy and the weaknesses that lead to supply chain disruptions.

He said that the off-shore manufacturers may not sell to Guam anymore. And because of that, Guam has to scale up manufacturing, which takes time.

“I think the unemployment compensation has saved Guam’s economy and I think the national economy as well because it does at least put money into people’s pockets and they are able to continue to spend. The grocery stores continued to be open because people need to have food to eat,” Bradley said.