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Fijian Economy to grow at 2.7% in 2019

The Fijian economy is on track to register economic expansion for the tenth consecutive year at a slower pace of 2.7 percent in 2019, according to a statement issued by the Reserve Bank of Fiji (RBF) on Monday.

The central bank said that the latest sectoral outcomes have been mixed so far this year.

Global economic growth is expected to slow down to 3.3 percent in 2019, after expanding by 3.6 percent in 2018. Increased trade tensions between China and the United States (US), declining business confidence, tightening financial conditions and policy uncertainty in most economies remain as key downside risks to the growth outlook.

Visitor arrivals increased 5.8 percent cumulative to April due to higher arrivals from New Zealand, Japan, United States and Australia.

Partial indicators of consumption and investment also point a slowdown in domestic demand. New consumption lending by commercial banks’ contracted by 2.2 percent cumulative to April while new vehicle registrations fell 38.4 percent in the same period.

However, second-hand vehicle registrations grew by a marginal 1.8 percent in the year to April, the bank said.

Annual inflation in April stood at 2.1 percent, lower than 4 percent registered in both March and April last year.

Over the month, consumer prices decreased by 0.2 percent due to lower prices of food & non-alcoholic beverages; housing, water, electricity, gas & other fuels and the transport categories.

Foreign reserves rose to 1,943.4 million Fijian dollars (about 897.3 million U.S. dollars) in April and on May 31, foreign reserves were registered at 1,930.9 million Fijian dollars (about 891.5 million U.S. dollars), sufficient to cover 4.2 months of retained imports.

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