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Westpac revises Fiji’s economic growth outlook

October 1, 2021 4:25 pm

The Fijian economy is projected to contract by 3.8 percent, lower than the 4.2 percent anticipated in the last update by Westpac Fiji.

This as the red bank has upgraded its real Gross Domestic Product forecast for 2021.

In its Quarterly Economic Update, Westpac Fiji states this outcome rests on the back of activity generated by fiscal and monetary stimulus, positivity surrounding widespread vaccination and the uplifting of domestic borders.

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For 2022, Westpac anticipates well above trend growth, supported by an acceleration of vaccinations to those below 18 years and achieving herd immunity, major uptake in domestic demand and the reopening of the international borders with quarantine-free travel.

Westpac also says the economic outlook for 2023 also looks promising with growth spurred by the return of international tourism, increase in business and consumer confidence, and ongoing fiscal and monetary stimulus.

However, Westpac says although the government expects international borders to reopen in November, there is likely to be little to no quarantine-free travel for this year.

This is due to the Delta variant now spreading rapidly across many parts of the world and the detection of the new vaccine-resistant strain in South America.

The Update also states that if borders do reopen, Westpac expects minimal uptake this year and growth outlook remains conservative.

It adds the international environment is fluid, and challenges around the global pandemic remain immense, particularly in Fiji’s major source markets.

Westpac says the budget adds much-needed stimulus to both households and businesses and fiscal policy will continue to play a key role in supporting the economy in the near to medium term.

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