Prices of goods to rise: Scovell


THE prices of consumer goods are expected to increase by 12 per cent and 20 per cent as businesses try to offset increasing costs, according to the PNG Manufacturers Council.
Council chief executive officer Chey Scovell told The National that the increase in prices of goods was driven by the increased costs that businesses could no longer afford to absorb. He said fees for Government services such as licensing and permits had also increased “astronomically”.
“There has been no increase in service, no increase in productivity, no increase in enforcement, however costs are soaring and businesses have no option but to pay,” he said.
“Local manufacturers are doing their best to maintain their employees despite a flat market and increasing costs. Typically from Independence Day to Christmas, there is an upswing in consumer spending, acknowledging the market conditions many manufacturers had downgraded expectation leading into Independence Day.
“Of concern was that despite lowered expectations, actual sales were still less and there has been no increase as we go into year’s end.
“Weaker than expected sales and sharp increases in operational costs have put businesses under a lot of pressure.”
He said only electricity rates had not been increased for years.
“The increases in costs for clearing of cargo via ports has far outstripped inflation, in particular across the international terminals,” he added.
“The cost for stevedoring in our international ports has been head-spinning. Worsening law and order has also increased the costs of doing businesses.
“Our police force is under-resourced, the absence of employment opportunities for our youth, the absence of coordinated programmes to get them earning coupled with a severely under-resourced enforcement effort, it’s predictable that businesses and citizens will be subject to lawlessness.”