Reserve Bank of Fiji Deputy Governor Esala Masitabua says global prices of food has come down but it is still above pre-pandemic levels.
While speaking during the Multi-Stakeholder Dialogue on the Fijian Economy organised by Dialogue Fiji, Masitabua says the latest figures on inflation in May shows that it is at 0.8 percent.
The Deputy Governor says the constraints that have driven inflation and monetary tightening policies that all the advanced countries have been implementing is weighing against inflation and has come down from its peak.
He says continuing global tension is keeping commodity prices high even though the global economy is slowing down.
Masitabua further says the latest data shows there are more people in formal employment now than pre-pandemic.
He says according to data from FNPF they have seen that the total number of employees that existed in the labour market pre-pandemic has slipped slightly but the employees are more and wages are up by more than 110 percent so they are paid more.
Masitabua says growth is quite robust in terms of creation of jobs and people going back to work and paying taxes.
He says the Minister and the Permanent Secretary for Finance are balancing very difficult choices while formulating the budget.
Masitabua says we need to ensure that in digging our selves out, we do not end up digging ourselves a deeper hole.
The Deputy Governor says he is sure that the reform agenda as alluded to by the Deputy Prime Minister and diversification of the economy and addressing business confidence will impact growth and monetary policy.
He says there are some initiatives to promote productivity, cut the cost of doing business, housing and social inclusion and meet investment need.
He says Fiji’s growth momentum has gained significant traction and we have financial, price and external stability and geo-political and global tension will continue to we weigh forward as an economy.
The 2023/2024 National Budget will be delivered next Friday at 10am.
Stay tuned for the latest news on our radio stations