Total economic growth projected at 2.4pc for 2018: Abel


THE total real growth in the economy is projected at 2.4 per cent for 2018, which is marginally higher than this year, says Treasurer Charles Abel.
He said inflation was projected at 6.9 per cent, an upward revision by one percentage point.
Abel said prices of key commodities were expected to increase modestly in 2018 from 2017 levels.
“Growth will be driven by the non-mining sectors, feeding off the impetus from Apec-related spending across the non-mining sectors and continued improvement in agriculture, fisheries and forestry sectors,” Abel said.
“This reflects an expected good year for coffee and increased copra and copra oil production due to higher global copra demand.
“Over the medium term, the PNG economy is also conservatively expected to grow at an average rate of 2.4 per cent, driven largely by the non-mining sectors as the investment in these sectors gradually materialises.
“The current projection does not take into account major pipeline projects such as the Papua LNG, P’nyang, Wafi-Golpu, Frieda Mine and Solwara 1, which once in the construction phase, will provide a significant boost to the entire economy. This maintains some conservatism in our approach as compared to recent budgets.
“By building the resilience of our economy and our systems, without being overly dependent on these large resource projects, will reduce the impact of volatility from resource projects.”
Abel said the 6.9 per cent inflation reflected the increase in import tariffs and excise rates on specific items in the 2018 Budget, higher spending on goods and services during Apec preparations and the Leaders’ Summit, the gradual improvement in domestic economic activity, and gradual improvement in global commodity prices.
He said prices of key commodities, including oil and gold, were expected to increase modestly from the 2017 levels.