22 Apr 2008

Fiji's Reserve Bank estimates country's economy contracts by 4.4 per cent

10:30 am on 22 April 2008

Fiji's Reserve Bank says the country's economy is estimated to have contracted by 4.4 per cent in 2007, compared to the 3.9 per cent decline forecast last year.

The Fiji Times reports that Savenaca Narube, the Reserve Bank governor, says the downward revision is mainly a result of lower than expected cane and sugar output, which was affected by adverse weather conditions and mill interruptions.

The performance of the building and construction sector was also weaker than earlier envisaged.

Mr Narube says last year's contraction was almost broad-based with electricity and water the only sector estimated to have grown.

Leading the decline in the economy were the building and construction and community, personal and social services and manufacturing sectors.

Savenaca Narube says the absence of mining in 2007 reduced economic growth by around half a percentage point.