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COVID-19 to affect Fiji’s economic growth

Fiji's economic growth will take a hit later this year due to the global impacts of the COVID-19 outbreak.

The current growth forecast is 1.7 percent but the Reserve Bank anticipates the domestic impact of the Coronavirus will be hardest felt in the tourism sector due to uncertainties and risks around global travel.

RBF Deputy Governor Esala Masitabua said local businesses will soon feel the effects of the disruption to China’s supply chain and manufacturing network.

“Going through the data and getting the information will give us a bit more clarity but we already know what we hear. Definitely, we see from those countries that have been impacted. We are tied to trading partner countries like Australia and New Zealand so if it impacts them it will impact us”.

Masitabua said they are consulting various industries, to get an idea of what’s coming since most businesses source goods from China where factories are shut down because workers have been told to stay home until the Coronavirus outbreak is dealt with.

“Meeting the industry that’s rolled up into forecast, getting survey information and then the macro-economic committee sits chaired by the Governor. There is a technical committee that weighs through the numbers, provides the projection. Then it goes to the committee that is chaired by the Governor”.

Reserve Bank Governor Ariff Ali met Wednesday with the Ministry of Economy and Coronavirus was on the agenda.

The RBF says it will continue its monitoring of economic developments and provide necessary advice to the government..


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