FORMAL private sector employment for the first six months of this year improved 3.8%, the central bank’s employment index disclosed.
This growth is expected to continue throughout the remainder of the year, according to Central Bank forecasts, especially in the building, construction, mining and quarrying sectors of the economy.
In a two-page statement released yesterday, central bank Governor Sir Wilson Kamit said this increase in the building and construction, agriculture, forestry, fisheries, wholesale, mineral and financial sectors of the economy was expected to continue throughout the year, especially in light of the liquefied natural gas (LNG) project and the Hidden Valley project in Wau, Morobe province.
“Except for the commerce and petroleum sectors, all sectors are expected to grow in 2009, with notable growth from the building and construction, mining and quarrying sectors, and the communication sub-sector,” Sir Wilson said.
“The increase in the construction sector and its spill-over effects to the other sectors is attributed to the Ramu nickel/cobalt and Hidden Valley mines, some early works and initial construction and related activities on the LNG project, major transport infrastructure and building projects.
“The growth in the mining and quarrying sector will come from increased production of gold at existing mines and the beginning of production at the Hidden Valley mine.
“On the other hand, the increase in the communication sub-sector reflects the expansion of mobile phone networks by the two mobile phone companies,” he said.
For the medium term, however, Sir Wilson said the economy was expected to continue to grow at a lower pace as construction continued at the Ramu nickel/cobalt mine and other Government and private sector-funded projects.