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Consumer spend up

Filipe Naigulevu
Monday, December 04, 2017

CONSUMER spending in Fiji continues to trend upwards supported by higher incomes, favourable labour market conditions and accommodative monetary conditions.

This was highlighted in the Reserve Bank of Fiji (RBF) Economic Review for the month ended November which was released last week.

According to the review, aggregate demand remained firm reflected in favourable outturns for consumption and investment indicators.

New lending for consumption purposes rose in the first ten months of the year underpinned by higher lending to the wholesale, retail, hotels and restaurants sector.

Similarly, the central bank noted a growth in net value added tax collections cumulative to September indicating strong underlying demand.

RBF added that the increase in the income tax threshold announced in the new 2017/2018 National Budget bodes well for future consumption activity as it resulted in a slower growth for pay as you earn collections since August.

Meanwhile, the central bank noted that investment levels remained positive as indicated by partial indicators.

Commercial banks' new lending for investment purposes rebounded strongly cumulative to October driven by higher lending to the real estate and building and construction sectors.

Domestic cement sales also grew in the same period, owing to a rise in local construction activity.

The central bank however adds that the commissioning of new private sector projects together with the continued rehabilitation work post-Tropical Cyclone Winston and Government's increased capital expenditure augurs well for investment outcomes going forward.

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