Economy at stake – RBF tells of further crisis if borders remain closed

Reserve Bank of Fiji governor Ariff Ali in his office at the Reserve Bank of Fiji building in Suva. Picture: JONACANI LALAKOBAU/FILE

THE Fijian economy could contract further if borders do not open this year, says Reserve Bank of Fiji (RBF) governor Ariff Ali.

He said economic recovery would also depend on the level of fiscal support provided by the Government in the 2021-2022 National Budget.

The governor also stressed that the prolonged crisis also meant unemployment benefits needed to continue.

The Fiji National Provident Fund has already paid out $223.2 million to affected members, of which $106.1m was topped up by the Government.

While the annual inflation stood at -1.3 per cent last month, the RBF projects an increase in prices of locally-produced fruits and vegetables because of supply shortages owing to Tropical Cyclone Ana and the associated floods.

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