Forex reserves rise in June


THE level of gross foreign exchange reserves at the end of June was K5.345 billion (US$1.707 billion), according to Bank of Papua New Guinea.
In its March 2017 quarterly economic bulletin, Governor Loi Bakani noted that the total level of gross foreign exchange reserves was slightly higher at K5572.8 million (US$1780.5 million).
Total public debt outstanding as at March 2017 was K22,452.1 million, an increase of K508.2 million from last December.
Both the external and domestic debt levels increased.
The increase in external debt reflected drawdowns on both concessional and commercial loans.
The increase in domestic debt was attributed to the net issuance of government securities.
The total amount of government deposits at depository corporations decreased by K155.6 million to K2637.7 million in March this year, compared to last December.
The decline was due to drawdowns by the government to fund projects such as the new court house at Waigani as well as payment for education subsidy.
Bakani said government expenditure was projected to be K13,349.5 billion in 2017 against projected revenue of K11,473.1 million, which means a budget deficit of K1876 million or 2.5 per cent of gross domestic product.
“The hosting of the Asia-Pacific Economic Corporation 2018 meeting in Port Moresby is a major priority area identified by the government in the 2017 national budget but with the lower 2017 revenue projection, funding of the budget will remain a challenge for the new government.
“This calls for a supplementary budget to be introduced in 2017 to address the decline in revenue.”