RBF notes mixed economic indicators

March 1, 2024 6:20 am

Reserve Bank of Fiji Governor Ariff Ali says weakness in growth in major trading partners is of concern and is being monitored closely.

Ali says that partial data for consumption, investment and major sectoral production are mixed for the first two months of the year.

However, the Governor states that visitor arrivals data was higher than expected in January, as Fiji received 70,324 visitors, 4.2 percent higher than the same month last year.

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Nonetheless, Ali says arrivals from our main source market Australia was lower for the second consecutive month compared with the same month a year ago.

On the twin monetary policy objectives, Ali states that the annual headline inflation rate fell to 3.6 percent in January from the 5.1 percent noted in December.

Ali says it is forecast to fall to three percent by the end of the year, notwithstanding any major commodity price shocks.

Ali states the labour market has noted a continuous increase in job advertisements and wages have risen, reflecting higher emigration.

Consequently, personal remittances in January were around the same level as January 2023, after reaching a new record of $1.25 billion last year.

The Governor adds that credit to the private sector expanded by 8.5 percent in January while liquidity in the banking system was $1,951.1 million as of 28 February, helping keep lending rates around historical lows and supporting economic activity.