The Fiji Times » Central bank notes improving labor market
The national economic recovery is supported by the rebound in tourism, according to the Reserve Bank of Fiji.
In its July Economic Review released yesterday, the RBF showed that, cumulative to June, tourist arrivals totaled 205,529, which was about 50% of visitor arrivals during the same period in 2019, the majority of tourists from Australia, New Zealand and the United States. .
During the review period, labor market conditions improved in line with the recovery in aggregate demand.
According to the RBF survey, recruitment intentions remained high in the first half of the year, with the number of job vacancies increasing by 194.1%, reaching 3,833 vacancies, mainly driven by the sectors related to tourism, while rising PAYE collections and increasing formal employment, according to data from the Fiji National Provident Fund, employment survey results have been validated.
The economic review further highlighted the persistence of an overall low interest rate environment, with liquidity levels in the banking system remaining high – $2.3 billion as of July 29 – largely due to increased inflows of foreign exchange reserves and increased level of RBF special lending facilities.
Private sector credit growth improved further to 3.0% in June as commercial banks continued to lend to businesses and households.
In the year to June, collections for Pay As You Earn (PAYE) increased by 12.3% and net value added tax increased by 61.0%, as well as the total number of vehicle registrations, which increased by 44.0%, which matched the annual growth of 58.4%. cent in new loans from commercial banks for consumption during the same period.
During the period under review, other sectoral productions recorded contrasting variations and, during the first half of the year, the production of sugar, electricity, cement, mahogany and wood sawn saw annual growth while production of gold and woodchips fell.
Aggregate demand has picked up, supported by improving consumer activity, as indicated by partial indicators.
The RBF pointed out that construction-focused investment spending was recovering but remained subdued from 2019 levels, while domestic cement sales and new loans for investment purposes increased cumulatively over the course of the year. of the first six months.
Construction activity indicators for the March quarter point to a rebound in activity, with the number of building permits, certificates of completion issued and the value of works put in place increasing both in the quarter and of the year.
However, the impending general election, rising costs and supply chain bottlenecks are expected to delay planned construction activities until next year.