Wed, 27 Jan 2021

SUVA, Nov. 30 (Xinhua) -- Fiji's economy is expected to range between 1.6 percent and 8 percent in 2021, the Reserve Bank of Fiji (RBF) said on Monday.

In a statement on Monday, the Fijian central bank attributed next year's economic growth projections to the substantial uncertainties around the reopening of borders for quarantine-free travel and appetite for tourism activity.

In 2020, Fiji's economic growth is envisaged to contract by 19 percent, compared to the earlier estimate of -21.7 percent stemming from higher-than-expected growth in the agriculture sector coupled with lower-than anticipated declines in the wholesale and retail trade, restaurants and hotels, manufacturing and construction sectors.

Sectoral performances continued to be well below 2019 levels in the first 10 months of this year. Cumulative to October, visitor arrivals in the island nation declined by 80.7 percent, a consequence of the prolonged closure of international borders.

The nation's annual inflation rate stood at -2.9 percent in October this year, compared to -3.2 percent in the previous month and was much lower than the -0.9 percent recorded in October 2019. The outcome was largely attributed to lower prices of alcoholic beverages, yaqona, fish and seafood, vegetables, meat and kerosene.

As at Nov. 30, Fiji's foreign reserves stood at 2,186.3 million Fijian dollars (about 1,051.8 million U.S. dollars), sufficient to cover 7.3 months of retained imports.

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