Pacific Economic Monitor – December 2019
The 2019 growth forecast for the Pacific subregion has been raised from 3.5% to 4.2%, driven mainly by higher liquefied natural gas production in Papua New Guinea and increased construction expenditure in Samoa and Solomon Islands, as well as lower-than-projected economic decline in Nauru. However, project delays in Papua New Guinea, tepid growth in some economies, and slower recovery in others will likely moderate subregional growth to 2.6% in 2020.
- Trade conflict continues to weigh down on the global economy. Prospects for global growth continue to weaken as the ongoing trade conflict slows growth in major economies, including the People’s Republic of China. The weak external environment translates into a softer 2019–2020 outlook for the Pacific through subdued exports, including from Fiji.
- Focusing on the development needs of small island developing states. The complex interplay among geographic and physical challenges faced by small island developing states manifests in elevated cost structures and heightened economic vulnerability that severely constrain development prospects. Compounded by fragility from thin institutional capacities for effective governance and elevated climate change risks—a clear “threat multiplier”—these challenges call for a differentiated approach to long-term development strategies among small island developing states.
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