Friday, April 26, 2013

Fiji holds policy rate steady, demand continues to improve

    The Reserve Bank of Fiji maintained its accommodative monetary policy stance and held its Overnight Policy Rate (OPR) steady at 0.5 percent, saying domestic demand and the labour market was continuing to improve and there are signs of rising investment activity.
    But the Reserve Bank, which last cut its rate by 100 basis points in November 2011 to support economic growth, said the performance of various sectors was still mixed with a notable decline in gold production due to lower quality ore being extracted and greater focus on capital work.
    The number of visitor arrivals to Fiji also fell by 7.9 percent in January from the same month last year, led by lower visitors from Australia, New Zealand, China and Europe.
     Consumer spending was trending upwards and growth in new consumption lending more than doubled to $132.5 million in the first three months of this year compared with first quarter 2012.
    Consumer prices rose by an annual 3.3 percent in March due to higher food prices, while foreign reserves were around $1,458.8 million as of April 26, sufficient to cover 4.2 months of imports of goods and non-factor services, the central bank said in its Economic Review.



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