Most Pacific economies seen shrinking: ADB
Manilla: The economies of most South Pacific
islands are expected to contract this year due to weak tourism
and remittances, the Asian Development Bank said on Monday.
The global economy is showing signs of stabilizing, but
the full impact from the downturn in the US, Australia and New
Zealand has yet to hit 14 island nations in the region
monitored by the Manila-based lender.
Excluding the resource-rich Papua New Guinea and East
Timor, economic growth in the Pacific is forecast to contract
by 0.4 this year after posting 5.1 percent growth last year,
the ADB said in a report.
Including those two nations, where the discovery of oil
and other commodities are lifting growth prospects, regional
economic growth will expand 2.8 percent, it said.
Five other major economies, the Cook Islands, Fiji,
Palau, Samoa and Tonga are all expected to contract. No growth
is projected in the Solomon Islands because of falling log
Australian tourists have begun returning to Fiji, but
growth in tourism was seen to be slowing elsewhere until next
year. Inflation has eased across the region except in Fiji,
although the recent rise in crude prices may push up inflation
for the rest of year.
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