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SYDNEY, Australia (ABC News Online, Feb. 2) - Interest rates in Papua New Guinea look like they will continue their downward trend, according to the latest Monetary Policy outlook from PNG's Central Bank.

The Bank of Papua New Guinea's semi-annual Monetary Policy Statement says economic conditions should stabilize in 2004, which should allow it to further ease monetary policy.

The bank is forecasting headline inflation of 8 percent for the year, down from 10 per cent in 2003 and 14 percent in 2002.

The statement says the major risks to its targets are a lapse in fiscal discipline by the government and instability in the exchange rate.

February 3, 2004

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