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Fiji's central bank anticipates economy expansion

Saturday, November 04, 2017

Update: 4:15PM THE Reserve Bank of Fiji says the local economy is now anticipated to expand by 4.2 per cent this year, higher than the earlier forecast of 3.8 per cent.

The RBF said this outturn was expected to be largely led by higher contributions from the public administration and defence; manufacturing; and construction and wholesale and retail trade sectors. 

Similarly, it said the growth outlook for 2018 was revised upwards to 3.6 per cent from an earlier projection of 3.0 per cent.

"Sectoral performances remain generally upbeat despite unfavourable outcomes in a few key sectors," the central bank stated in its economic review for the October month-end.

"Visitor arrivals noted an annual growth of 6.6 per cent cumulative to September, driven by higher tourist numbers from New Zealand, United States (US), Australia, Pacific Islands and the rest of Asia. 

"Similarly, both cane and sugar production recorded a considerable turnaround. Total cane crushed increased annually by 27.9 per cent (to 1,564,293 tonnes) resulting in higher sugar production by 38.4 per cent (to 174,252 tonnes)."

The central bank noted electricity production also grew on an annual basis in the year to August by 7.3 per cent. 

In contrast, the timber industry continued to perform weakly as a result of delays in the commencement of mahogany production and low demand for woodchips from the Asian market. 

Similarly, gold production remained low in the year to September owing to the closure of operations for necessary upgrades and mine audits earlier in 2017.

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