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Businesses improving and people are spending more

November 26, 2021 4:40 pm

Fiji is in a much better position today than it was six months ago.

Presenting at the Fiji Human Resources Institute Convention this morning, Reserve Bank of Fiji Governor Ariff Ali says general business has improved sharply and people are spending more on the back of the economy opening.

Ali says he is optimistic that growth will hit double digits next year.

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“So far this month tax revenues are up by 20% and I hope that this trend will continue, commercial banks have now started to lend for both consumption and investment purposes and people are still buying cars and the number of cars on the road is increasing. Job advertisements on a month-to-month basis have now shown 4 consecutive months of more jobs being advertised.”

Ali says they also noted that people were spending more time on grocery shopping and getting medication at pharmacies since restrictions were lifted.


[Reserve Bank of Fiji Governor Ariff Ali]

He says that projections for 2023 indicate that growth will continue to rise based on the tourism numbers that will definitely shoot up.

“So government’s total debt is around 80% at the end of the last financial year it was projected to rise to around 92% but with borders now opening there will be more tourists coming that will contribute to GDP and therefore taxes and I think the debt to GDP ratio will not rise to 92% but will be less.”

Ali says he is confident that by 2023, Fiji can expect the same number of tourists pre COVID.

$2.6 billion was also classified as COVID loans that businesses were not able to pay principal or interest.

However, the Governor says with borders to re-open from next Wednesday, this will definitely decrease.

Ali says banks also remain strong as they have an excess of $600m in buffer.

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