Bank Reports Cyclone Has Affected Fiji’s Economic Growth

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Delays expected for private and public sector projects

SUVA, Fiji (Fijilive, Jan .9, 2013) – The risks to Fiji’s growth projection have increased as a result of Tropical Cyclone Evan, the Reserve Bank said in their economic review of December, 2012.

He said that while the full extent of damages are yet to be ascertained, damages to infrastructure (housing, public utility and in the hotel industry), cane and non-cane crops, livestock and the loss of manufacturing and retailing hours are expected to provide downward impetus on the growth outlook.

And due to possible reprioritization of funds for rehabilitation activities the central bank says there is likely to be delays in the implementation of planned projects by both the private and the public sector.

Moreover, weak outcomes were noted for cane and sugar production and visitor arrivals for the month of December.

The RBF said that during the same period, due to a decline in domestic inflation and an increase in trading partner inflation, the Real Effective Exchange Rate (REER) index fell by 0.3 percent over the month.

According to the report, foreign reserves were around FJ$1,636.3 million [US$919.9 million] at the end of December 2012, sufficient to cover 5.2 months of retained imports of goods and non-factor services.

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