Investment activity subdues in March

INVESTMENT activity had somewhat subdued over the month of March despite its forecast to remain firm in 2018.
The Reserve Bank of Fiji (RBF) in its Economic Review for the month ended April 2018 noted a decrease in domestic cement sales by 20.2 per cent cumulative to March.
Cement sales in the domestic market – an indicator of local construction activity mostly had an upward trend noting a growth of 13.7 per cent in the August 2016 to July 2017 annual period.
But the central bank said the decline in cement sales was expected to be temporary and should pick up in the months ahead.
Meanwhile, in the same review period, the RBF also noted that lending for investment purposes had declined by 23.3 per cent largely due to base-related effects.
The central bank has however shown optimism that construction and investment related activities were expected to gain momentum as a result of post disaster rehabilitation works as well as the ongoing private sector projects.
Investment activity is forecasted to be around 28.0 per cent of GDP this year.