THE continuous impact of COVID-19 pandemic has continued to affect the country’s economy while the government is in a desperate situation to keep it afloat with the Economic Stimulus Package (ESP).
According to the Central Bank of Solomon Islands (CBSI) latest monthly report, the domestic production shows that CBSI preliminary monthly production index in November dropped to 65 points from the revised 66 points in October.
“The continued weak performance was driven by declining production in round logs, fish catch, and palm oil.
“Round logs dropped further by 2% to 137 thousand cubic meters, palm oil by 11% to 2,422 tons, and fish catch by 1% to 2,325 ton,” the report stated.
On the other hand, the report stated that copra production went up slightly by less than 1% to 1,103 tons and cocoa by 11% to 406 tons.
Meanwhile, the international prices for all export commodities trended up in November following the pickup in crude oil prices.
“Coconut oil rose by 22% to US$1,369 per ton, palm oil by 12% to US$918 per ton, cocoa by 3% to US$2,350 per ton, round logs by 1% to US$285 per cubic meter, and fish by 0.1% to US$1,269 per ton,” the report said.
But in terms of the Consumer Price Index (CPI), the latest national inflation for September continued to descend to 0.2% from a peak of 7.8% in March 2020.
According to the report the easing inflation was driven by both domestic and imported items.
“Domestic inflation receded to 2.0% in September from 10.5% in April benefited from the easing prices for betel nut, root crops, utilities, and transport,” it stated.
Similarly, imported items deflated to a minus 3.5% from 2.2% in March last year attributable to the lower crude oil prices in the world market.
The report also stated that core inflation also went down from 2.0% at the beginning of the year to 0.5% in September.
“This reflected the weaker demand in the local economy amidst Covid-19 pandemic,” the report plainly stated it.
By ANDREW FANASIA