The outlook for visitor arrivals to Fiji for 2023 is now expected to be higher than earlier projected based on the trend in arrivals for the first quarter, which track higher than the 2019 total for the same period.
The Reserve Bank of Fiji says the total visitor arrivals increased noticeably in the first quarter of the year, mainly underpinned by more visitors from Australia, New Zealand, and North America.
It says given the relatively significant contribution of the tourism sector to the economy, the GDP growth forecast for this year is now upward biased.
The RBF also says domestically, some sectoral indicators under observation reflected softer performance in the recent month, with the exception of solid electricity production and tourism.
While higher employment intentions are related to improved economic conditions and businesses filling vacant positions from migrating workers, the job market has remained tight.
The RBF says at the same time, the pickup in employment levels and higher inward remittances, has induced positive consumption activity.
However, due to policy-related uncertainties and the persistent higher cost of building materials, the rate of investment is anticipated to remain modest in the near future.
In March, private sector credit increased annually, consistent with historically low lending rates and more favourable economic conditions.
As debt serviceability improved further in February, the value of non-performing loans for commercial banks and licensed credit institutions fell further, while the banking industry’s capital remained adequate.
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