IMF applauds Fijian economy
December 19, 2018 8:11 am
IMF Deputy Division Chief Asia & Pacific, Pablo Murphy
The growth of the Fijian economy in recent time has been applauded by the International Monetary Fund.
IMF says while the economy is at its best in several decades and Fiji continues to achieve its targets, the external factors are determinantal for the country in continuing on the great path.
It says the external factors are becoming less favorable and Fiji will soon have to re-look at its policies to offset the factors with its growth.
IMF Deputy Division Chief Asia & Pacific, Pablo Murphy says Fiji’s growth is expected to pick up to about 3.2 percent in 2018, and it is expected to record its ninth consecutive year of expansion.
However, he says with the growth momentum projected to continue in the coming years, certain factors are against the country.
“The important point that we try to convey to the government is that we think the external conditions that the country faces are less favorable than what they were twelve months ago. For three reasons, first oil prices are a bit higher than what they were in 2017. Second is the sugar price are lower than last year and also we’re noticing a slowdown in growth in major trading partners for Fiji”
Murphy says policies should aim to increase Fiji’s resilience to shocks and strengthen growth performance.
“We think that the targets that are described in the national development platform formulated by the government of achieving growth rates of between four and five percent are within reach. But in order to reach that enhance growth performance, there should be several reforms in the business environment to attract private investment and facilitate private sector development”
Meanwhile, the fund completed an Article IV consultation to Fiji with the government, the private sector and developing partners in Suva today.
IMF Deputy Division Chief Asia & Pacific, Pablo Murphy [middle]
IMF also says headline inflation increased to 5.2 percent last month reflecting higher taxes on tobacco and alcohol as well as higher prices for yaqona caused by floods in April.
Inflation is projected to decline to 3 percent in 2019-20 as supply conditions normalize.