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ADB forecasts slight downturn in Pacific growth

RADIO NEW ZEALAND INTERNATIONAL

THE ASIAN DEVELOPMENT BANK’S latest Pacific Economic Monitor has trimmed the 2013 economic growth forecast for the Pacific region to five percent, down 0.2 percent.

It comes on the back of slower gold production in Solomon Islands, lower growth prospects in Kiribati and Nauru, and persistently lower prices for Papua New Guinea’s commodity exports.

The report also predicts the situation in PNG could make it difficult for the O’Neill government to continue the stimulus measures it has adopted to counter the adverse impact of a slowdown in construction as the liquefied natural gas pipeline work is completed.

It predicts a brighter outlook for the global economy will spill over and likely raise the Pacific region’s growth to 5.5% in 2014.

The ADB report says there are signs that Fiji’s economy may be picking up as government infrastructure development moves ahead, and consumption and investment show signs of improving.

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