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Inflation returns to negative territory

April 30, 2021 12:45 pm
Ariel view of Suva City.

Headline inflation returned to negative territory and stood at negative 1.2 percent last month.

The Reserve Bank in its latest statement says this is underlined by lower food, alcohol, and yaqona prices.

Governor Ariff Ali says in the near term, inflationary pressures are expected to stem from increases in crude oil and global food prices coupled with potential weather-related shocks.

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Ali says domestically, economic activity remains weak based on the lacklustre output in key sectors and contraction in consumption and investment activity.

The Governor says weak labour market conditions persist with ongoing support from the Fiji National Provident Fund and the Government via the COVID-19 unemployment scheme.

Liquidity levels in the banking system as of Wednesday remain high at over $1.4b.

Ali says over 50,000 people have received the first dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine and 26,000 doses that just arrived in the country are positive developments.

However, he adds the recent local transmission cases and the resulting containment measures add to the near-term economic uncertainty and will likely delay the resumption of tourist activity.

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