RBF: Australian visitor numbers on decline since April
It noted that numbers from Australia have been on a declining trend since April. This is despite tourist arrivals from New Zealand and China continuing to grow.
The Reserve Bank of Fiji has revealed in its October Economic review that visitor numbers from our major tourist market, Australia, continues to decline. It noted that numbers from Australia have been on a declining trend since April. This is despite tourist arrivals from New Zealand and China continuing to grow. Meanwhile, the report also revealed the growth in visitor arrivals (4.2 per cent) cumulative to September was lower compared to the same period in 2015 (9.2 per cent).
Overall, the report noted that domestically, sectoral outcomes have generally been mixed.
Cane and sugar production were lower by 35.3 per cent and 40.2 per cent, respectively, in the first 17 weeks of crushing, reflective of the negative impact of Tropical Cyclone Winston.
Similarly, mahogany (-12.8%) and fish (-22.7%) production declined in the year to September and June, respectively.
On a positive note, the Industrial Production Index showed improved manufacturing activity over the June quarter (10.0%) as well as over the same period in 2015 (0.3%).
On the industrial front, electricity production noted an annual growth (3.5%) in the nine months to September, consistent with higher electricity consumption (0.3%) in the year to August. Gold production also noted an annual increase (14.3%) cumulative to September.
Overall, the report said given the lowerthan-anticipated performances in key sectors to date, the current GDP growth projection of 2.4 per cent for this year, which is currently under review, is downward biased.
The report indicated labour market conditions remained positive. It said the RBF’s Job Advertisements survey noted an annual increase (7.2%) in the number of advertised vacancies cumulative to September 2016. Higher recruitment intentions were noted in the wholesale & retail trade & restaurants & hotels; construction; transport, storage & communication; agriculture, forestry & fishing; and the electricity & water sectors.
Consumption and investment activity registered continued growth in the review period. Annual increases were noted in both new (32.1%) and second hand (10.7%) vehicle registrations. This was coupled with higher new lending by commercial banks for consumption purposes (11.1%) in the year to September. In addition, domestic cement sales grew by 10.0 per cent in the same period. The value of work put-in-place by the construction sector increased by 10.3 per cent ($249.6m) cumulative to the June quarter. In contrast, new loans for investment purposes contracted declined by 13.9 per cent in the year to September.