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Papua New Guinea Economy Profile 2017

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Economy - overviewPapua New Guinea (PNG) is richly endowed with natural resources, but exploitation has been hampered by rugged terrain, land tenure issues, and the high cost of developing infrastructure. The economy has a small formal sector, focused mainly on the export of those natural resources, and an informal sector, employing the majority of the population. Agriculture provides a subsistence livelihood for 85% of the people. The global financial crisis had little impact because of continued foreign demand for PNG's commodities.

Mineral deposits, including copper, gold, and oil, account for nearly two-thirds of export earnings. Natural gas reserves amount to an estimated 155 billion cubic meters. Following construction of a $19 billion liquefied natural gas (LNG) project, PNG LNG, a consortium led by ExxonMobil, began exporting liquefied natural gas to Asian markets in May 2014. The project was delivered on time and only slightly above budget. The success of the project has encouraged other companies to look at similar LNG projects. French supermajor Total is expected to begin construction on the Papua LNG project by 2020. Due to lower global commodity prices, resource revenues of all types have fallen dramatically. PNG’s government has recently been forced to adjust spending levels downward.

Numerous challenges still face the government of Peter O'NEILL, including providing physical security for foreign investors, regaining investor confidence, restoring integrity to state institutions, promoting economic efficiency by privatizing moribund state institutions, and maintaining good relations with Australia, its former colonial ruler. Other socio-cultural challenges could upend the economy including chronic law and order and land tenure issues.
GDP (purchasing power parity)$28.02 billion (2016 est.)
$27.33 billion (2015 est.)
$25.63 billion (2014 est.)
note: data are in 2016 dollars
GDP (official exchange rate)$19.92 billion (2016 est.)
GDP - real growth rate2.5% (2016 est.)
6.6% (2015 est.)
7.4% (2014 est.)
GDP - per capita (PPP)$3,500 (2016 est.)
$3,500 (2015 est.)
$3,400 (2014 est.)
note: data are in 2016 dollars
Gross national saving38.1% of GDP (2016 est.)
24% of GDP (2015 est.)
-11.7% of GDP (2014 est.)
GDP - composition, by end usehousehold consumption: 49.4%
government consumption: 7.8%
investment in fixed capital: 9.9%
investment in inventories: 0.4%
exports of goods and services: 68.7%
imports of goods and services: -36.2% (2016 est.)
GDP - composition by sectoragriculture: 22.3%
industry: 37.6%
services: 40.1% (2016 est.)
Population below poverty line37% (2002 est.)
Labor force4.365 million (2016 est.)
Labor force - by occupationagriculture: 85%
industry: NA%
services: NA% (2005 est.)
Unemployment rate2.5% (2014 est.)
2.5% (2013 est.)
Household income or consumption by percentage sharelowest 10%: 1.7%
highest 10%: 40.5% (1996)
Distribution of family income - Gini index50.9 (1996)
Budgetrevenues: $3.169 billion
expenditures: $4.295 billion (2016 est.)
Taxes and other revenues15.9% of GDP (2016 est.)
Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-)-5.7% of GDP (2016 est.)
Public debt39.4% of GDP (2016 est.)
36.9% of GDP (2015 est.)
Inflation rate (consumer prices)6.3% (2016 est.)
6% (2015 est.)
Central bank discount rate14% (31 December 2010)
6.92% (31 December 2009)
Commercial bank prime lending rate8.3% (31 December 2016 est.)
8.73% (31 December 2015 est.)
Stock of narrow money$5.282 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$4.936 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
Stock of broad money$8.085 billion (31 December 2014 est.)
$7.477 billion (31 December 2013 est.)
Stock of domestic credit$6.36 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$6.118 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
Market value of publicly traded shares$10.71 billion (31 December 2012 est.)
$8.999 billion (31 December 2011 est.)
$9.742 billion (31 December 2010 est.)
Agriculture - productscoffee, cocoa, copra, palm kernels, tea, sugar, rubber, sweet potatoes, fruit, vegetables, vanilla; poultry, pork; shellfish
Industriescopra crushing, palm oil processing, plywood production, wood chip production; mining (gold, silver, copper); crude oil and petroleum products; construction, tourism
Industrial production growth rate4.8% (2016 est.)
Current Account Balance$3.051 billion (2016 est.)
$4.148 billion (2015 est.)
Exports$7.886 billion (2016 est.)
$8.377 billion (2015 est.)
Exports - commoditiesoil, gold, copper ore, logs, palm oil, coffee, cocoa, crayfish, prawns
Exports - partnersJapan 17.4%, Australia 15.9%, China 12.1% (2015)
Imports$1.83 billion (2016 est.)
$2.267 billion (2015 est.)
Imports - commoditiesmachinery and transport equipment, manufactured goods, food, fuels, chemicals
Imports - partnersAustralia 25.9%, China 20%, Singapore 12.6%, Malaysia 7.2%, US 4.2%, Indonesia 4.1%, South Korea 4% (2015)
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold$1.629 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$1.738 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
Debt - external$22.04 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$20.41 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
Stock of direct foreign investment - at home$NA
Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad$NA
Exchange rateskina (PGK) per US dollar -
3.156 (2016 est.)
2.7684 (2015 est.)
2.7684 (2014 est.)
2.4614 (2013 est.)
2.08 (2012 est.)
Fiscal yearcalendar year

Source: CIA World Factbook
This page was last updated on July 9, 2017

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