30 Dec 2006

Cooks Islands economic growth predicted

10:25 am on 30 December 2006

Economic growth is set to double in the Cook Islands in 2006-2007.

The Government's half year economic and fiscal update shows economic growth, which was estimated at around 1.8 per cent in 2005-2006, is set to rise to about 3.5 per cent in 2006-2007.

The Cook Island Herald newspaper reports that economic growth had been anticipated to slow during 2005 due to the cyclones which hit the country but the rate of growth was lower than expected.

Value Added Tax or VAT receipts for the period January 2006 to June 2006 were up 9.5 per cent on the same period last year.

Receipts for the July to November 2006 were also up 9.5 per cent on last year.

The Government says this demonstrates the continued underlying strength of the economy.

Meanwhile, visitor arrivals were also up.

In the calendar year to October 2006, numbers were up 2.9 per cent on the same period the previous year.

Visitor arrivals are projected to increase by 3.9 per cent in 2006-2007.

The Cook Islands Herald says business confidence is also positive as evidenced by increased business loans and also building consents.