Positive projections – Recovery to reduce poverty from 3.7 per cent to 2.4 per cent

Recent projections by the World Bank indicate that economic recovery will reduce extreme poverty from 3.7 per cent in 2021 to 2.4 per cent in 2022.

The World Bank’s latest East Asia and Pacific October 2022 Economic Update said this was still above the pre-pandemic rate of 1.3 per cent in 2019, which was also the latest estimate based on household survey data.

The report also states that actual poverty reduction is dependent on the extent to which economic recovery leads to jobs for low-skilled workers and the effectiveness of government support to vulnerable households.

According to the report Fiji’s economic growth in 2023 is projected at 7.8 per cent from an expected 85 per cent tourist arrivals to 2019 level and at 4.6 per cent in 2024 assuming full tourism recovery to the pre-pandemic level.

It said some of the key drivers of growth include services, industrial and primary sectors in line with the rebound in travel and tourism.

The report which was released on Monday said the reopening of borders in December last year significantly boosted economic recovery, adding that the economy was expected to recover to its pre-pandemic level by 2024, mainly due to private spending and investment.

With Fiji’s outlook dependent on tourism activity, cyclones and floods, and contagion from the Ukraine war, the report recommended structural reforms to accelerate growth and poverty reduction, and fiscal consolidation which was critical to reduce the high level of public debt.

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