RBF says the recent COVID situation will further prolong the already subdued economic activity in Fiji

RBF says the recent COVID situation will further prolong the already subdued economic activity in Fiji

By Vijay Narayan
Tuesday 04/05/2021
The Reserve Bank of Fiji .[image: file]

The Reserve Bank of Fiji says while progress has been made on the vaccination front considering that over 50,000 Fijians have received the first dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine, the recent locally transmitted cases and subsequent containment measures will further prolong the already subdued economic activity.

The RBF says sectoral performances remained mixed up to March.

Visitor arrivals are down by 97%, electricity declined annually by 13.4% and mahogany production by 27% annually, the latter of which was due to a halt in production earlier in the year.

However, the pine industry noted a boost in production for pine logs by 151.8%, woodchip by 92.7% and sawn timber by 21.6% on the back of increased demand.

Gold production also picked up over the year by 17.5% owing to better-quality ore grade mined.

The RBF says over the month, improvements were noted in all sectors.

VAT collections drop by 27.8% however strong growth was noted in second-hand vehicle registrations by 122.2%

Job ads drop over the year by 75.8 percent in March
By Vijay Narayan
Tuesday 04/05/2021

The Reserve Bank of Fiji says investment and consumption activity remained weak in the first three months of the year, indicating subdued confidence amidst continued economic uncertainty.

However strong growth was noted in second-hand vehicle registrations by 122.2%, driven in part by the budgetary changes around vehicle imports.

Consumption indicators in the country declined over the year as reflected by the drop in net VAT collections by 27.8%, new consumer credit by 24.1%, new vehicle sales by 17.8% and registration by 17.2%.

Partial investment indicators such as domestic cement sales dropped by 8.4% and new investment lending by 25.8% also declined annually.

Job advertisements declined over the year by 75.8% in March, driven by reduced recruitment intentions across most major sectors.

This was corroborated by the annual fall in net compulsory Fiji National Provident Fund membership by 64% over the same period.

Meanwhile, assistance from the Government and the FNPF via the COVID-19 withdrawal scheme continues.

In April, the FNPF support was extended to provide relief for mortgage payments and members affected by the recent lockdown measures.

Excess liquidity in the banking system surged past the $1 billion mark in March and is currently more than adequate at $1.451 billion.

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