13 Mar 2012

ADB predicts growth in Pacific economies

7:21 pm on 13 March 2012

The Asian Development Bank says several Pacific economies are expected to keep growing in the next two years.

Papua New Guinea has had ten consecutive years of growth, although the ADB says in its latest report that this will fall back from 7.5 percent this year to 4.5 percent next year.

The Bank also notes Vanuatu has now had nine consecutive years of growth.

The ADB says these achievements are impressive but if the rest of the Pacific is to see similar success, there needs to be more investment in public infrastructure, improved government fiscal management and public sector efficiency.

The ADB projects the Marshall Islands economy will grow by 5.4 percent this year, up from five percent last year, but drop back to 2.6 percent in 2013.

It says tourist arrivals, particularly in the Cook Islands, Fiji, Palau and Samoa, reached record levels in 2011, and the outlook for this year is positive.

It also says on the back of resumed phosphate exports Nauru should sustain relatively strong growth this year and next.