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Economy Westpac Economist: Government Debts Manageable Levels

A senior economist has stated our Government debt is at manageable levels but external funding growth is an area that needs attention. Justin Smirk, a senior economist with Westpac’s Economic
18 Aug 2015 09:44
Economy Westpac Economist: Government Debts  Manageable Levels
Justin Smirk, senior economist with Westpac’s Economic Research team says Fiji's debts are at manageable levels.

A senior economist has stated our Government debt is at manageable levels but external funding growth is an area that needs attention.

Justin Smirk, a senior economist with Westpac’s Economic Research Team, made these comments yesterday.

“We are seeing dependence on external funding growth and that is something that needs to be watched and managed,” he said.

“This is because the more you depend on foreign sources, the more you are open to global shocks and funding and liquidity which can cause points of stress at times.”

At the same time, Mr Smirk said this was not something which cannot be managed.

In fact, he said, Australia was very much like that – dependent on foreign funding.

 

Economic growth

Meanwhile, based on economic growth projections, Mr Smirk said Fiji was very well set to ride out the storms experienced in the global environment.

He said while Government was tackling the issues fairly strongly, development of education and health was the key to growth in Fiji.

“It is nice to think about developing tourism or service and manufacturing industries, but if you do not have a healthy and educated population, your economy cannot grow,” he said.

“And if the economy continues to grow at this rate, it may find constraints in skilled labour force. So you need to bring that up along with the growth.”

Key points on Fijian economy from Justine Smirk:

  • 2014 growth estimate & 2015 outlook is more positive than expected;
  • Based on robust consumption activity;
  • Business confidence is high leading to robust investment activity;
  • Fiscal policy is expansionary supported by accommodative monetary policy;
  • Positive outlook for foreign direct investment;
  • Foreign reserves are comfortable and expected to remain stable;
  • Inflation is expected to remain around 3.0%yr

Feedback:  stella.moresio@fijisun.com.fj

 

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