SI economic growth rate to decline in 2019

By Ezekiel Talatau

THE International Monetary Fund (IMF) declared that in 2019, Solomon Islands will faces economic decline growth rate of about 1 percent to 1.5 percent.

Ms Alison Stuart, team leader of an IMF delegation which visited Solomon Islands to discuss the 2018 Article IV Consultation, said that in 2017 growth rate was estimated at 3.5 percent and projected to remain at 3.4 percent in 2018 as sustained by sturdy influence of infrastructure spending, fisheries, agriculture, logging and manufacturing.

She added that the 2019 growth rate is predicted to be moderate at 2.9 percent resulted from slowdown of logging. Inflation has picked up fairly to 2.4 percent in mid-2018.

In response to trade, government statistician Mr Douglas Kimi also said that Solomon Islands trade deficit has also skyrocketed this year as well.

Kimi said for this year, the deficit has increased by 544 percent, which is more than six times the US $6.5 million deficit that posted end of 2016.

He added that, Solomon Islands has recorded its highest trade deficit in a decade with a figure to final quarter of 2017 and skyrocketed by 178 percent.

This makes this year’s deficit to be highest since 2010, he said.

The shortfall was driven by drop in cocoa palm oil and other agriculture exports, which rose as much as 143.8 percent.

In the interim, the consumer price index for Honiara fall by 0.9 percent.

This results was influence by cheaper drinks, foods, tobacco and housing products which offset greater transport expenses, said kimi.

Stuart said that Solomon Islands have gain a significant aspect in restoring law and order, re-establishing public institution and improving human development indicators but still confronts large economic and governance challenges.

She added that, other sectors such as logging industries and mining has a weak management stem as well as lack of transparency in the constituency development fund that needs to strengthen public financial management.

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