Skip to Main Navigation
BRIEFMay 1, 2024

Papua New Guinea Economic Update – May 2024

PNG Economic Update May 2024

Papua New Guinea Economic Update May 2024:

Invest in your children

The World Bank’s Papua New Guinea Economic Update provides an annual assessment of Papua New Guinea’s economy within a long-term and global context along with the economic outlook. The May 2024 edition focuses on the urgent need for more and better investment in education to address a human capital crisis in PNG. (Other Pacific Island Countries have their own standalone Economic Update).

Papua New Guinea’s economy is forecast to accelerate in 2024 after a slowdown last year, yet greater investment in education is critical to the country’s longer-term economic future.

  • The May 2024 Economic Update outlines a recovery to pre-COVID output levels. However, growth is estimated to have slowed from 5.2 percent in 2022 to 2.7 percent in 2023 and the country remains below its pre-COVID growth trajectory.
  • Economic growth is projected to accelerate to 4.8 percent in 2024. Growth could have increased even faster, but brief violence and looting in January 2024 placed a toll on the economy. Medium-term growth is expected to settle at three percent.
  • The May 2024 Papua New Guinea Economic Update includes a special analysis on the urgent need for investment in quality teaching. The report shows how this can improve teacher effectiveness and student learning, and ultimately lead to higher income growth and a reduction in poverty.
  • There is an education crisis in PNG. Many young people are not going beyond primary education because they have not learnt foundational skills. More than 70 percent (72 percent) of 10 year olds are not able to read and understand an age appropriate text.
  • By the age of five, nearly half of all children (45 percent) in PNG are stunted from malnutrition — the fifth highest rate of stunting in the world — which affects brain development, hinders learning, and can lead to lifelong impacts.
  • The report recommends promoting access to primary healthcare, and maternal, sexual, and reproductive health services.
  • Expanding quality early childhood education by allocating appropriate funding, providing technical support, and promoting collaboration among donors and stakeholders.
  • And, to improve teacher quality, deliver cost-effective professional development programs on delivering targeted instruction to students, using structured lessons plans, and adopting educational technology.


Download the Full ReportSummary, read the Press Release, and follow World Bank Pacific on Facebook for the latest updates.