Remittances increase by 3.7 per cent

FIJI recorded a steady growth in inward remittances over the first quarter of this year, notably with personal remittances increasing by 3.7 per cent at $123.6 million.

This was highlighted in the Reserve Bank of Fiji’s Economic Review for June 2017 released earlier this week.

Last year, Fiji earned a record $541.8m from remittances, making it the second-highest foreign exchange, and has been growing steadily over the past five years.

The trend had been such since 2004 and continued to increase with Fijians living and working abroad who send money to Fiji.

The major types of remittances are gifts and donations from former citizens, friends and likewise from Fijian citizens working abroad as peacekeepers, nurses, caregivers and sports personals.

Fiji has also been defying the notable decrease in remittances to developing countries last year as reported earlier this year by the World Bank.

Remittances have helped support consumption activities which held up aggregate demand in the first quarter of this year.

The recent review by the central bank stated that consumption activity was supported by higher incomes, improvement in labour market conditions including inward remittances. It reported that pay as you earn tax collections (a partial indicator for income) increased by an annual 13.9 per cent cumulative to April.

Value Added Tax (VAT) collections (17.2 per cent) and new vehicle registrations (13.9 per cent) both grew on an annual basis, cumulative to April and May, respectively.

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