Fiji’s actual economic growth in 2013 surpassed expectations, recording a 4.6 per cent GDP growth which was much higher than the 3.6 per cent forecast.
The permanent secretary for Strategic Planning, National Development and Statistics, Pita Wise said that based on the actual GDP figures, the economy performed much better than forecasted, with a number of Industry Groups recording significantly higher growth than expected.
The three major groups which significantly contributed to the high growth include Transport and Storage Sector, Financial and Insurance Activities and Public Sector Investment.
The actual figures from Transport and Storage Sector performance was 7.1 percentage points higher than the forecast figure of 3.0 per cent whilst Financial and Insurance Activities improved by 6.5 percentage points compared to the 4.6 per cent forecast. Actual public sector performance recorded a 4.9 per cent increase compared to the earlier forecast of 2.1 per cent.
Improved GDP figures are attributed to the strong performance of the Transport & Storage Industry due to increase in Air Transport activities while significant expansion recorded in the Financial and Insurance Activities Industry was driven by higher insurance premium receipts and improvements in the pension industry.Public Sector Investment also increased due to the substantial increase in expenditure on infrastructure.
The Forestry Industry also recorded a double digit growth rate of 10.9 per cent driven by increases in Pine and Mahogany production.
However, the Mining and Quarrying Industry recorded a decline of 7.9 per cent as a result of lower gold production.
There was also a slight upward revision of the 2012 real growth rate from 1.7 per cent to 1.8 per cent based on actual data that became available after the release of the earlier estimate.
This is a clear signal of confidence in the Fijian economy.
Mr Wise further reiterated that the forecast growth of 3.8 per cent in GDP for 2014 is still considered conservative. This will be further revised in the second round of the Macroeconomic Committee meeting prior to the announcement of the 2015 Budget.
The detailed growth figures on all the sectors are articulated in the Fiji Bureau of Statistics Release Number 51 of 2014 dated 27 August, 2014.