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RBF says overall labour market conditions have worsened

RBF says overall labour market conditions have worsened

By Semi Turaga
Saturday 30/05/2020
The Reserve Bank of Fiji. [image: file]

The Reserve Bank of Fiji says overall labour market conditions have worsened with further announcements of layoffs.

In its Economic Review for the month of May, the RBF says the notable uptake of the Fiji National Provident Fund’s COVID-19 Withdrawal Scheme corroborates an increase in unemployment levels.

The Reserve Bank says as at 27th May this year, 88,939 COVID-19 withdrawal applications have been lodged with the FNPF.

It adds that these applications mainly include FNPF members in the tourism, taxi, and small and micro enterprises sectors that have experienced reduced hours, lowered income, or have been laid-off temporarily or permanently.

The RBF says similar to a number of other countries, the Fijian economy is projected to record a large contraction this year, and partial indicators to date corroborate this.

It adds that while the economy is anticipated to note some recovery in 2021, this is highly contingent on the resumption of global travel before the end of the year.

The country's Central Bank says as at 28th May, foreign reserves stood at $2.21 billion, sufficient to cover 6.9 months of retained imports.

The RBF says current the reserves level have been underpinned by import compression due to both low domestic demand and commodity prices, and higher offshore Government borrowing, which will more-than-offset weakened export receipts.

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