Investment Lending Grows
New investment lending which accounts for new lending to the real estate and building and construction sectors grew over the year by 10.9 per cent cumulative to July.
The Reserve Bank of Fiji has revealed this in its Economic Review for August.
Imports of investment goods (excluding aircraft) increased by 14 per cent in the year to June and domestic cement sales, a partial indicator of construction activity, rose by 14.1 per cent cumulative to July.
The central bank indicated the outlook for investment activity was still expected to be positive.
This, it said was considering the sentiments expressed for investment in plant & machinery and buildings in the June 2014 Business Expectations Survey.
Liquidity and employment
Meanwhile, the report said liquidity in the banking system fell over the month by 17.8 per cent in July.
This was underpinned by a fall in foreign reserves ($67.3 million) and an increase in currency in circulation ($22.8 million).
The report said employment prospects as reflected in the monthly Reserve Bank’s Job Advertisements Survey were higher in the year to July.
“The number of jobs advertised increased by 17.3 per cent led by recruitment intentions in the community, social & personal services and the manufacturing sectors,” it said.
The merchandise trade deficit (excluding aircraft) widened by 16.9 per cent to $1,361.3 million cumulative to June, the report said.
Total exports (excluding aircraft) rose by 12.2 percent due to a rebound in reexports and domestic exports.
The increase in re-exports (17.3 per cent) was led by higher mineral fuel reexports (17 per cent).
The increase in domestic exports (6.4 per cent) was led by higher sugar, mineral water, fish and garments exports which more than offset the declines in gold, timber, molasses and other domestic exports.
Imports (excluding aircraft) rose by 14.9 per cent while retained imports (excluding aircraft), an indicator of domestic demand, increased by seven per cent in the same period.
Foreign reserves (RBF Holdings) were around $1,679.1 million at the end of August, sufficient to cover 4.5 months of retained imports of goods and non-factor services.