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External demand to support domestic growth

Monika Singh
Saturday, February 24, 2018

THE Reserve Bank of Fiji is confident that the external demand from our trading partners remains firm and should support domestic growth this year.

RBF governor Ariff Ali made the statement as he announced that the central bank board had decided to leave the overnight policy rate at 0.5 per cent.

In a statement issued on Thursday, Mr Ali said robust aggregate demand supported by higher private and government spending should continue to be the main catalyst of growth with additional gains projected for tourism and recovery in traditional sectors such as forestry and gold.

Meanwhile the RBF stated that the inflation rate declined to 1.5 per cent in January from 2.8 per cent at the end of last year.

According to the central bank foreign reserves remain adequate and stood at about $2161.0 million, sufficient to cover 4.9 months of retained imports.

The outlook for the twin objectives of monetary policy remain favourable particularly with the upward traction in crude oil prices now reversing.

Mr Ali said: "Domestic economic activity rebounded strongly last year led by ongoing Tropical Cyclone Winston rehabilitation spending as well as accommodative monetary and fiscal policies which boosted aggregate demand. Notwithstanding any shocks, 2018 should be the ninth consecutive year of positive growth."

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