Economic Outline

flag Fiji Islands Fiji Islands: Economic Outline

Economic Indicators

For the latest updates on the key economic responses from governments to adress the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, please consult the IMF's policy tracking platform Policy Responses to COVID-19.

Fiji is one of the most developed economies of the Pacific islands. However, the economy is vulnerable to natural disasters that weigh on growth. Cyclone Winston, the most powerful in the history of the archipelago, hit the country in 2016, causing significant damage (estimated at around 28% of the country’s GDP) to housing, infrastructure, and crops, which are still being under reconstruction. The country has been recovering well after the cyclone thanks to the reconstruction activities, the tourism sector, the recovery of agriculture production and an increase in household consumption expenditure; however, GDP turned negative in 2019, and the trend was exacerbated by the global COVID-19 crisis, which prompted the largest contraction on record, at 15.7% according to the IMF. The Central Bank forecasts the economy to rebound by 11.3% in 2022 following a 4.1% decline in 2021. The economy is expected to be primarily supported by the recommencement of international tourism and its positive spill-over effects on other sectors of the economy (over the year, visitor arrivals are expected to reach half of 2019 levels).

The current account deficit deteriorated significantly to -15.7% of GDP in 2021, from -13.4% one year earlier (IMF). However, over the next few years, such a deficit is projected to improve gradually as tourism earnings recover. Similarly, the debt-to-GDP ratio skyrocketed from 48.9% in 2019 to an estimated 86.8% in 2021. The ratio is expected to rise further to 90.1% this year, before easing to 87.1% in 2023. Inflation, which had been negative since the end of 2019, increased to 1.1% in 2021. The IMF expect prices to follow an upward trend, with forecast inflation of 1.7% in 2022 and 2.1% the following year. The islands have many natural resources: mining, forestry, fishery, agriculture (sugarcane industry). The agricultural sector accounts for 14.9% of GDP, while industry and services represent 17.8% and 52% respectively (World Bank).

According to figures from the IMF, GDP per capita (PPP) reached USD 12,298 in 2021, although the World Bank estimates that one-third of the population still lives below the poverty line. In the summer of 2021, the Fijian government has announced a USD 200 million in unemployment income support to Fijians affected by COVID-19, both in the formal and informal sectors. At the end of 2020, the unemployment rate stood at 4.7%, as per the World Bank’s latest available data. Labour market conditions remained fragile in 2021, with the number of job vacancies falling by 30.6% (Reserve Bank of Fiji).

 
Main Indicators 201920202021 (e)2022 (e)2023 (e)
GDP (billions USD) 5.50e4.494.645.015.54
GDP (Constant Prices, Annual % Change) -0.4-15.7e-4.06.28.3
GDP per Capita (USD) 6,1434,995e5,1275,5076,054
General Government Gross Debt (in % of GDP) 48.970.886.890.187.1
Inflation Rate (%) 1.8e-2.60.24.03.0
Current Account (billions USD) -0.69-0.60-0.73-0.44-0.37
Current Account (in % of GDP) -12.6-13.4e-15.7-8.7-6.6

Source: IMF – World Economic Outlook Database - October 2021.

Note: (e) Estimated Data


 
Monetary Indicators 20162017201820192020
Fiji Dollar (FJD) - Average Annual Exchange Rate For 1 MUR 0.060.060.060.060.06

Source: World Bank - Latest available data.

 

Main Sectors of Industry

 
Breakdown of Economic Activity By Sector Agriculture Industry Services
Employment By Sector (in % of Total Employment) 17.6 14.1 68.3
Value Added (in % of GDP) 14.9 17.8 52.0
Value Added (Annual % Change) 4.0 -6.6 -18.8

Source: World Bank - Latest available data.

 
Socio-Demographic Indicators 20212022 (e)2023 (e)
Unemployment Rate (%) 9.06.55.5

Source: IMF – World Economic Outlook Database - Latest available data

 

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The Active Population in Figures

201820192020
Labour Force 359,388362,136357,260

Source: International Labour Organization, ILOSTAT database

 
201720182019
Total activity rate 60.50%60.37%60.29%
Men activity rate 79.52%79.32%79.22%
Women activity rate 40.75%40.69%40.62%

Source: International Labour Organization, ILOSTAT database

 

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Indicator of Economic Freedom

Definition:

The Economic freedom index measure ten components of economic freedom, grouped into four broad categories or pillars of economic freedom: Rule of Law (property rights, freedom from corruption); Limited Government (fiscal freedom, government spending); Regulatory Efficiency (business freedom, labour freedom, monetary freedom); and Open Markets (trade freedom, investment freedom, financial freedom). Each of the freedoms within these four broad categories is individually scored on a scale of 0 to 100. A country’s overall economic freedom score is a simple average of its scores on the 10 individual freedoms.

Score:
62,2/100
World Rank:
87
Regional Rank:
15

Economic freedom in the world (interactive map)
Source: Index of Economic Freedom, Heritage Foundation

 
 

Country Risk

See the country risk analysis provided by Coface.

 

Indicator of Political Freedom

Definition:

The Indicator of Political Freedom provides an annual evaluation of the state of freedom in a country as experienced by individuals. The survey measures freedom according to two broad categories: political rights and civil liberties. The ratings process is based on a checklist of 10 political rights questions (on Electoral Process, Political Pluralism and Participation, Functioning of Government) and 15 civil liberties questions (on Freedom of Expression, Belief, Associational and Organizational Rights, Rule of Law, Personal Autonomy and Individual Rights). Scores are awarded to each of these questions on a scale of 0 to 4, where a score of 0 represents the smallest degree and 4 the greatest degree of rights or liberties present. The total score awarded to the political rights and civil liberties checklist determines the political rights and civil liberties rating. Each rating of 1 through 7, with 1 representing the highest and 7 the lowest level of freedom, corresponds to a range of total scores.

Ranking:
Partly Free
Political Freedom:
3/7

Political freedom in the world (interactive map)
Source: Freedom in the World Report, Freedom House

 

Indicator of Freedom of the Press

Definition:

The world rankings, published annually, measures violations of press freedom worldwide. It reflects the degree of freedom enjoyed by journalists, the media and digital citizens of each country and the means used by states to respect and uphold this freedom. Finally, a note and a position are assigned to each country. To compile this index, Reporters Without Borders (RWB) prepared a questionnaire incorporating the main criteria (44 in total) to assess the situation of press freedom in a given country. This questionnaire was sent to partner organisations,150 RWB correspondents, journalists, researchers, jurists and human rights activists. It includes every kind of direct attacks against journalists and digital citizens (murders, imprisonment, assault, threats, etc.) or against the media (censorship, confiscation, searches and harassment etc.).

World Rank:
55/180

Source: World Press Freedom Index, Reporters Without Borders

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Sources of General Economic Information

Main Online Newspapers and Portals
The Fiji Times
Fiji Sun
Einnews.com, Fiji news
Useful Resources
Ministry of Strategic Planning, National Development and Statistics
Ministry of Industry, Trade, Tourism and Transport
Reserve Bank of Fiji
 
 

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Latest Update: May 2022