RBF: Fiji’s economy to grow at slower pace

The RBF building in Suva. Picture: FT FILE

THE Fijian economy is envisaged to grow for the ninth consecutive year but at a slightly slower pace attributed to the recent spate of natural disasters.
The Reserve Bank of Fiji (RBF) highlighted this in its Economic Review for the month ended April 2018 released last week.
The central bank also noted the recent natural disasters experienced earlier this year that were expected to raise prices of agricultural market items such as vegetables and root crops.
But it reported that the price increase was anticipated to generally subside within the year when supply normalised.
Given the devastation in Kadavu, another commodity that is expected to become costly in the coming months is kava.
This, because of the impact on major kava supply from the island, which will potentially raise kava prices in the coming months.
Cyclone-led supply shortages in agricultural commodities and price pressures following the recent natural disasters could also have an effect on the country’s inflation rate, which stands at 2.6 per cent as of March this year.
Inflation edged up slightly in March from 2.3 per cent in February but remained lower than the 5.6 per cent registered a year ago.
The high inflation was a result of higher annual price movements in alcoholic beverages, tobacco and narcotics; housing, water, electricity, gas and other fuels; transport; restaurants and hotels, and food and non-alcoholic beverage categories.