Delays in the supply of certain building materials affected reconstruction in the aftermath of Tropical Cyclone Winston last year, notes the Reserve Bank of Fiji’s (RBF) latest monetary policy press statement.
“In spite of the negative shocks earlier in the year, consumption spending has remained strong supported by the various policy initiatives that were implemented post TC-Winston, including the Fiji National Provident Fund’s $275.0 million pay-out, and rehabilitation initiatives provided by the Government, the donor community and the private sector,” RBF outlined.
Investment activity also remained firm last year, with the continuation of various large-scale private sector projects and Government’s infrastructure spending.
“Annually, higher value of work put-in-place and domestic cement sales so far this year are indicative of robust construction-led investment activities.”
Per the RBF’s Job Advertisement Survey, labour market indicators have shown higher recruitment intentions, with favourable conditions, particularly for construction and whole & retail trade sectors, amongst others.
“While commercial banks’ new credit growth remained positive during the year, this has slowed from a year ago. Nonetheless, double digit growth in new lending has been noted for licensed credit institutions during the year, given elevated demand for car and personal loans.”
The RBF notes that while commercial banks’ lending rates were still low by historical standards, recent liquidity developments have resulted in some upward movements in deposit rates.
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