In recent years, the IMF has released a growing number of reports and other documents covering economic and financial developments and trends in member countries. Each report, prepared by a staff team after discussions with government officials, is published at the option of the member country.
Papua New Guinea showed solid economic growth, supported by greater political stability, fiscal framework, and a healthy banking sector. Executive Directors encouraged the authorities to consider tighter macroeconomic policies in the face of rising inflation pressures and also stressed the need of a tight fiscal policy. They welcomed the Sovereign Wealth Funds (SWF), and considered it important to integrate the use of resources in the SWF into the budget and macroeconomic framework, supported by strong fiscal institutions. Directors observed that Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) and other resource projects provide an opportunity to raise long-term growth and living standards.
This 2010 Article IV Consultation highlights that real activity in Papua New Guinea was relatively unaffected by the global downturn, with growth easing to roughly 5 percent in 2009 from 7 percent in 2008. A number of factors contributed to this favorable outcome. The country’s financial sector was insulated from the turmoil in global capital markets and domestic credit continued to grow, albeit at a slower pace than in the preceding few years. Export demand also held up, as stimulus measures in other Asian countries supported demand for commodities, the country’s main export.
This 2008 Article IV Consultation highlights that GDP per capita for Papua New Guinea remains low. An unattractive investment environment, primarily owing to weak infrastructure, problems with governance, and high crime curtails development. Executive Directors have commended the authorities for saving the bulk of recent windfall mineral revenues and repaying public debt to improve the external debt position. They have also acknowledged the authorities’ policy of slowing exchange rate depreciation to moderate inflationary pressures.
Equatorial Guinea has recorded one of Africa’s fastest growth rates, as its petroleum industry has expanded and strengthened the country’s economic and fiscal sustainability. Executive Directors endorsed the National Development Plan to enhance productivity and achieve the MDGs. Directors stressed the need for strong macroeconomic policies and structural measures in safeguarding competitiveness and supported the adoption of a fiscal policy guided by a reduction in the non-oil primary fiscal deficit. They welcomed the creation of a Social Needs Fund and a national Financial Stability Assessment Program (FSAP) to complement the findings of the regional FSAP.
Papua New Guinea’s economic performance has strengthened since the last Article IV Consultation. The country has significant underlying vulnerabilities. The economy is exposed to commodity price shocks, and mineral production is expected to decline over the medium to longer term. However, macroeconomic vulnerabilities have intensified, in particular, the potential for higher unproductive fiscal spending to raise demand pressures and spur inflation. Prudent fiscal policies are welcomed. Implementation of the multi-donor technical assistance plan is encouraged. The authorities are encouraged to accelerate the structural reforms and improve infrastructure.
This 2006 Article IV Consultation highlights that Papua New Guinea is enjoying its fourth year of recovery and macroeconomic stability, but major challenges lie ahead. Sound macroeconomic policies over the past several years have reduced fiscal vulnerabilities, lowered inflation, spurred business confidence, and boosted growth. High prices for key export commodities have strengthened the fiscal and external positions. However, progress toward achieving the country’s Medium-Term Development Strategy objectives or Millennium Development Goals has been limited. Recent developments and the near-term outlook remain favorable.
This Selected Issues paper on Papua New Guinea reports that although economic cycles have generally paralleled the many mineral sector booms and busts, the downward trend in growth rates may reflect other factors. Papua New Guinea’s economy is dominated by a large labor-intensive agricultural sector and a capital-intensive oil and minerals sector. The formal sector consists of enclave extractive industries, cash crop production, and a small, import-substituting manufacturing sector. The importance of the agriculture sector is about the same as at independence, reflecting structural impediments that have deterred more rapid growth.
Papua New Guinea’s 2005 Article IV Consultation reports that the economy continues to perform well as the recovery maintains its momentum and the authorities adhere to disciplined fiscal and monetary policies. The central government budget has been estimated to be once more in surplus in 2005, as mining and petroleum revenue remain strong and overall expenditure is kept in check, resulting in a further reduction in public sector debt. Monetary policy has achieved a favorable combination of relatively low interest rates and inflation.
This 2004 Article IV Consultation highlights that Papua New Guinea’s macroeconomic performance has improved from mid-2003, helped importantly by the favorable temporary factors that boosted the mineral and agricultural sectors. In 2003, real GDP is estimated to have grown by 2.7 percent, following three years of decline. Coffee and cocoa production benefited from better weather conditions, and production of palm oil, rubber, tea, and copra oil also increased. Papua New Guinea’s medium-term economic outlook as outlined in the government’s development strategy is to achieve real GDP growth of 2½ percent annually in 2004–09.