Guam – Bank of Guam’s Economic and Market Statistics Officer Joseph Bradley says despite all the new opportunities that the military build up will bring to Guam, he predicts that the island will head into a recession when its over sometime after 2019.
Bradley says, “You can’t stop a influx of several billion dollars a year of funds without having a recession in the wake of it.”
According to Bradley, The military buildup will bring more jobs and opportunities to Guam within the coming years. But after the build up there could be a recession.
He says, “Its a recession from a very high peak, it will still be at a lever of economic activity substantial of what we have today.”
Today Guam’s gross domestic product is close to $4 billion dollars a year. Bradley expects it to increase by 50 percent during the peak of build up. But during the decline, Bradley predicts Guam’s economy to go in a recession but it will still be 15 % or $600 million dollars higher than where we are at today.
He also says during these times there will be a lot of opportunities out there and he hopes people will take advantage of them.
Bradley says, “During the build up phase there will be more opportunities for ground transportation, wholesalers, and retailers services. Once the build up is complete there will be a different set of opportunities not only for social service jobs for the Department of Defense, but additional jobs within the community that will have different character.”
What Bradley likes most about the military’s record of decision is that they are slowing down the pace of the build up. He says instead of the construction ending between 2015- 2016, it is now pushed back to 2019. This will bring down the peak of Guam’s population from 80,000 to about 41,000 and that will put less stress on the housing markets, the community and the infrastructure. But Bradley still believes Guam will need an additional 3,000 homes to handle the influx. He says with all this economic activity it will also mean a larger part of the income generated will stay within our community.
Bradley says, “It also means more of the income that accrues during the construction phase is going to accrue to local residents. If we bring in all these outside workers and they get that income, the money will leave the island. But if we bring in fewer outside workers we still have a longer term of employment due to the build for the local residents.”
In addition Bradley says with all these opportunities, more people will have jobs and he hopes there will be less people below the poverty level.