COVID-19 Budget: Pandemic to depress domestic activity – Fiscal Supplement

The economic and fiscal update supplement to the COVID-19 Response Supplementary Appropriation Bill 2020 states that the impact of COVID-19 will further depress domestic business activity. Picture: JONA KONATACI/FT FILE

The impact of COVID-19 will further depress domestic business activity.

The uncertainty surrounding it poses further risks to foreign direct investment flows.

And the spill-over effects on the tourism sector and imposition of movement restrictions will affect businesses in general.

These are noted in the economic and fiscal update supplement to the COVID-19 Response Supplementary Appropriation Bill 2020 that was presented in Parliament last night.

“The construction sector is expected to contract on account of major projects either being halted or delayed due to material and labour shortages as well as reprioritisation of Government’s capital expenditure,” the supplement stated.

“The real estate sector remains subdued.”

The supplement stated the uncertainty surrounding COVID-19 in Fiji would dampen consumer demand and business sales.

“While sales may have temporarily spiked due to recent events of panic buying, in general, restriction on social gatherings will also result in lower domestic spending on travel, purchase of non-food items and other associated expenses.

“This will impact business turnover with many expected to struggle to meet overhead costs in the months ahead.”

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