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RBF examines virus threat

February 27, 2020 4:50 pm
Reserve Bank of Fiji Governor Ariff Ali

Reserve Bank of Fiji Governor Ariff Ali said the domestic impact of the coronavirus outbreak will likely be most prominent in the tourism sector.

Following the bank’s board meeting yesterday, Ali said given the travel bans on foreign nationals, cancelled flights and the current uncertainty and risks surrounding global travel, the tourism sector will the most affected.

The RBF Governor says local businesses may also potentially feel the ripple effects of disruptions to China’s supply chain and manufacturing network, especially through lower growth with major trading partners.

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And while the spread of COVID19 poses further downside risks to domestic and global growth projections, Ali says a decline in crude oil prices resulting from lower demand in China will however help Fiji’s trade balance.

Ali says the RBF will continue monitoring economic developments and risks and adjust monetary policy if needed.

Meanwhile, Fiji’s foreign reserves currently stand at $2 billion 264 million enough to cover more than five months of imports.

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