FIJI TRADE DEFICIT JUMPS TO $732 MILLION

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Mining, construction industries decline

SUVA, Fiji (Fijilive, Nov. 1, 2008) – Fiji’s trade deficit widened by about FJ$231 million to FJ$1.3 billion [US$130 million to US$732.2 million] in the first eight months of 2008, says the Reserve Bank of Fiji.

According to the latest trade data, merchandise exports rose by 26.2 per cent, but the growth in imports more than offset this, the RBF said in its October Economic Review.

It said this year performances in key sectors varied.

Relatively strong growth has been recorded in visitor arrivals, gold, production and mineral water output, while the cane and sugar industries, as well as the building and construction sectors have registered notable declines," the RBF said.

It said most other sectors showed little change.

The report also highlighted the mixed outcomes of money and credit growth.

The RBF said broad money (M2) decelerated further in August to 4.9 per cent as growth in foreign assets slowed.

However, commercial banks’ lending rose to 7.1 per cent on an annual basis as both consumption and investment lending accelerated," the report said.

Meanwhile, at the end of September this year, provisional official foreign reserves figure stood at $911.3 million, sufficient to cover 3.6 months of imports of goods.

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