Overall economy may remain flat this year, says Barker


DESPITE a slight pickup in the non-mining sector last year, the overall economy may remain rather flat this year, according to Institute of National Affairs executive director Paul Barker.
He said if forecast of a further global downturn driven partly by global trade wars proved true, then the economy would remain flat in 2019.
He said after a few years of almost zero economic and employment growth, there seemed to have been a slight pickup in the non-mining sector last year.
“For 2019, we’re likely to see continued modest economic growth, probably extending to the mining and hydrocarbon sector, assuming (there are) no further unforeseen events.”
He said in the non-mining sector, particularly agriculture, there were likely to be some additional, though limited activities in hubs such as the Markham Valley.
And with weak international commodity prices badly affecting agriculture, he said a sustained low exchange rate was essential to provide “positive kina returns in most industries and some shield against competition or importers”.