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Papua New Guinea Economy Profile 2018

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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)$30.84 billion (2017 est.)
$29.92 billion (2016 est.)
$29.22 billion (2015 est.)
note: data are in 2017 dollars
GDP (official exchange rate)$21.81 billion (2016 est.)
GDP - real growth rate3.1% (2017 est.)
2.4% (2016 est.)
9.2% (2015 est.)
GDP - per capita (PPP)$3,800 (2017 est.)
$3,800 (2016 est.)
$3,800 (2015 est.)
note: data are in 2017 dollars
Gross national saving40.8% of GDP (2017 est.)
44.5% of GDP (2016 est.)
39.8% of GDP (2015 est.)
GDP - composition, by end usehousehold consumption: 45%
government consumption: 20.3%
investment in fixed capital: 10.4%
investment in inventories: -0.3%
exports of goods and services: 47.6%
imports of goods and services: -23% (2017 est.)
GDP - composition by sectoragriculture: 22.1%
industry: 42.9%
services: 35% (2017 est.)
Population below poverty line37% (2002 est.)
Labor force3.681 million (2017 est.)
Labor force - by occupationagriculture: 85%
industry: NA%
services: NA% (2005 est.)
Unemployment rate2.5% (2017 est.)
2.5% (2016 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: $3.649 billion
expenditures: $4.763 billion (2017 est.)
Taxes and other revenues16.7% of GDP (2017 est.)
Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-)-5.1% of GDP (2017 est.)
Public debt39.8% of GDP (2017 est.)
39% of GDP (2016 est.)
Inflation rate (consumer prices)5.8% (2017 est.)
6.7% (2016 est.)
Central bank discount rate14% (31 December 2010)
6.92% (31 December 2009)
Commercial bank prime lending rate8.4% (31 December 2017 est.)
8.38% (31 December 2016 est.)
Stock of narrow money$5.495 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
$5.05 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
Stock of broad money$7.649 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
$7.061 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
Stock of domestic credit$7.859 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
$7.223 billion (31 December 2016 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 rate3.3% (2017 est.)
Current Account Balance$4.053 billion (2017 est.)
$4.119 billion (2016 est.)
Exports$9.526 billion (2017 est.)
$9.224 billion (2016 est.)
Exports - commoditiesoil, gold, copper ore, logs, palm oil, coffee, cocoa, crayfish, prawns
Exports - partnersSingapore 23.7%, Australia 22.9%, Japan 13.2%, China 11.9% (2016)
Imports$1.878 billion (2017 est.)
$2.267 billion (2016 est.)
Imports - commoditiesmachinery and transport equipment, manufactured goods, food, fuels, chemicals
Imports - partnersAustralia 36%, China 14.9%, Singapore 8.5%, Malaysia 7.5% (2016)
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold$1.8 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
$1.656 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
Debt - external$17.09 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
$18.28 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
Stock of direct foreign investment - at home$NA
Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad$NA
Exchange rateskina (PGK) per US dollar -
3.179 (2017 est.)
3.133 (2016 est.)
3.133 (2015 est.)
2.7684 (2014 est.)
2.4614 (2013 est.)
Fiscal yearcalendar year

Source: CIA World Factbook
This page was last updated on January 20, 2018

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