The Reserve Bank of Fiji says the influx of personal remittances along with the second payout of the Government’s $360 cash assistance and improvement in labour market conditions is expected to provide some additional impetus to consumption spending during the December festive season.
According to the November economic review, the inward personal remittances rose by 17.8% to a total of $690.6 million in the year to October, of which, $409.6 million was received through money transfer operators, $142.6 million via the mobile money platform and $138.5 million through commercial banks.
The RBF says domestic demand is strengthening as shown by the positive movements in latest partial indicators of consumption and investment activity in the country.
Net Value Added Tax collections increased further by 8.3% over the month of October, partly reflecting an increase in consumer spending stemming from the August payout of Government’s unemployment assistance.
New vehicle sales are up by 53.3% and secondhand vehicle registrations also rose in October.
For investment activity, partial indicators such as cement production is up by 29.9% and sales is up by 2.9% in the month of October, following a pick-up in construction demand as COVID-19 restrictions were relaxed.
The lull in lending to the building and construction sector in 2020 has also noted a turnaround as new loans cumulative to October picked up by 16.5%.
The RBF says lending to the real estate sector remained lower by 2.1%, however, the contraction has moderated from last year.
The Central Bank says labour market conditions improved in October as the RBF Jobs Advertisement Survey reflecting recruitment intentions noted a monthly growth of 16.6% as firms progressively attempt to return to pre-lockdown normalcy.
Higher recruitment intentions were mostly noted for the construction, wholesale and retail trade, restaurants, hotels, transport, storage and communication, manufacturing, electricity and water categories.
Stay tuned for the latest news on our radio stations