The outbreak of COVID-19 in the Pacific Island Countries and Territories (PICTs) in 2020 led to many job losses, especially in the tourism and related industries, and a significant slowing-down in overall economic activity. As a consequence, many families saw a decline in their incomes necessitating recourse to a range of coping strategies. The reports of the World Bank’s High Frequency Phone Monitoring Surveys of Households conducted in Papua New Guinea and Solomon Islands during the year throws further light on this.
With less to spend, consumer demand weakened. More and more people turned to, for example, growing food for their own consumption, sewing/mending their own clothes and forgoing utilisation of personal services such as hairdressers etc, eating out.
The average change in prices of products consumed by households (a fixed basket of goods and services typically bought by households in a country) in 2020 compared to 2019 shows that of the twenty PICTs, twelve had inflation whilst eight had deflation i.e., their inflation rates fell below zero.
For more details, table and graphs, download the MCCD report.