Weak job market

The Resrve Bank of Fiji (RBF). Picture: FILE

A 66.7 PER cent annual decline in job vacancies was recorded by the Reserve Bank of Fiji as the labour market conditions remained weak last year.

The RBF, in its January 2021 economic review, in addition, construction activity also remained weak as domestic cement sales fell by 13.3 per cent because of the stalling of construction projects.

The month in review also recorded a 24.9 per cent decline in commercial banks’ new lending for investment purposes.

According to the RBF this was driven by 25.7 per cent lower lending to the real estate and a 23.1 per cent decline in the building and construction sectors.

The review highlighted a 38.3 per cent decline in value added tax collections in 2020 while new and second-hand vehicle registrations fell by 50.4 per cent and 40.3 per cent respectively.

Meanwhile foreign reserves (RBF holdings) in December 2020 increased by $13.2 million from November to total $2192.5m, sufficient to cover 7.3 months of retained imports (MORI).

As at January 29, foreign reserves stood at $2177.9m, equivalent to 6.7 MORI.

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