Positive growth

THE Finance Ministry has projected a positive growth rate of gross domestic product (GDP) on real estate activities in the next two years.

It forecasted a GDP of $302million next year and $306.4m in 2017.

With a constant GDP rate of this sector, the ministry stated $298.9m was forecasted for this year, $6m increase from $292.8m recorded last year.

This was revealed in the Finance Ministry’s 2015 Budget Address supplement.

A total of $288.1m was recorded in 2013, $286.2m in 2012, $283.2m in 2011 and $281.5m in 2010 for the contribution of this sector to GDP.

The central bank, in its 2014 Annual Report, said new lending for investment purposes rose over the year with 9.4 per cent led by higher credit to the building and construction sector with 11.6 per cent and real estate sector at 7.5 per cent.

According to the Reserve Bank of Fiji (RBF), real estate was one of the contributors of higher recruitment intentions up to May this year, a 14.4 per cent growth as per the Reserve Bank of Fiji job advertisements survey.

The central bank said it indicated favourable labour market conditions, in the community, among social and personal services; construction, and finance, insurance and business services sectors.

It highlighted investment activity remained firm in 2014, largely driven by favourable outcomes in the construction sector, increase in imports of investment goods and expansion in credit for investment purposes. It said construction activity gained firmer footing in 2014 as the total value of work-put-in-place by the sector increased annually by 15.2 per cent.

The relatively strong growth in the domestic construction industry, it stated had augured well for cement production and domestic sales which rose by 9.6 per cent and 17.6 per cent respectively, on an annual basis.