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ALOFI, Niue (April 16, 2002 -- Niue Economic Review/PINA Nius Online)---It's the type of economic growth Niue business folk would gladly let an uga, coconut crab, bite them for. As Niue recorded minus movements across the board, business was booming in its near neighbor, Samoa.

Samoa's economy grew by a spectacular 10 percent -- triggering a warning it might get ahead of itself -- though that's forecast to slow this year.

According to an Asian Development Bank report, rapid expansion in manufacturing, building, fishing and private service industries is driving Samoa.

Tourism earnings were also up last year despite visitor numbers dropping in the fallout from the September 11 terrorist attacks in America.

The Asian Development Bank report says Samoa has benefited from reforms in the 90s, but warns the economy is so charged up it risks overheating.

Providing there are no "severe external shocks," the report forecasts growth of a healthy 5 percent in 2002-2003. This will be driven by ongoing and new construction, with agricultural and fishing expansion also contributing.

Manufacturing is also expected to register strong growth, as the clothing industry develops and copra processing recovers.

Stronger exports and remittances should prevent deterioration in the country's current account balance.

Growth in tourism, however, is expected to slow.

GDP growth has been at the sorts of levels seen in China, with Samoa hitting 7.3 percent growth in 2000.

But inflation is also up, from 1 percent in 2000 to 4 percent last year, above the central bank's target of 3 percent.

Ensuring stability in the face of inflationary pressure should be the focus of policy makers, says the Asian Development Bank report.

For additional reports from the Niue Economic Review, go to PACIFIC ISLANDS REPORT News/Information Links: Magazines/Journals/Niue Economic Review.

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