Improvements in the local labour market

The economy continues to benefi t from the infl ux of tourists which have exceeded expectations. Source: RESERVE BANK OF FIJI

The Reserve Bank of Fiji continues to record improvements in the local job market in tandem with the robust growth in the economy.

According to the RBF the number of job vacancies rose by 23.6 per cent in the first four months of this year as recruitment intentions picked up in most sectors.

It was however highlighted that the strong demand for labour was also underpinned by businesses filling up vacant positions from workers leaving Fiji through migration.

In a statement the RBF noted that the positive effects from improved labour market conditions, higher remittances and upswing in credit were reflected in the significant pickup in consumption activity.

Partial indicators for consumption, such as net VAT collections, new lending for consumption purposes and electricity consumption have recorded annual gains so far in the year. Similarly, investment activity has exhibited signs of a stable but slower recovery as new lending for investment purposes rose.

Riding on the back of the success and recovery of the tourism industry and positive industry sentiments, the growth projection for the economy in 2023 was revised upward to 8.0 per cent from the 6.0 per cent envisaged in November 2022.

According to the central bank the key sectors contributing to the upward growth projection are the accommodation & food services, transport & storage, agriculture, manufacturing, wholesale & retail sales, finance & insurance, administrative services, construction and net indirect taxes.

Further, for 2022, given the better-than-expected rebound in tourism and related sectors, the Fijian economy is estimated to have grown by 18.6 per cent, higher than the 15.6 per cent previously projected.

The service sector and net indirect taxes contributed the most to the revised growth estimate.

In 2024 and 2025, Fiji’s economy is forecast to return to the pre-pandemic trend and grow by 3.8 per cent and 3.0 per cent, respectively.

Despite the upward revision to the growth projection for this year, risks to the outlook are tilted to the downside.

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