11 Apr 2013

Strong growth in Fiji last year boosted by progress on elections: ADB

3:08 pm on 11 April 2013

The Asian Development Bank says progress towards elections in Fiji could be behind strong economic growth last year.

In its latest report on the Pacific, the ADB says last year's 2.5 percent growth rate came despite a fall off in tourism and sugar production and a weak mining sector.

The principal economist with the bank's Pacific department, Emma Veve, says the growth was driven by government spending on infrastructure and an upswing in consumer spending.

She says it is not very clear what is driving the spending.

"There's some thought that perhaps with the move towards the new constitution and the election, public sentiment is picking up, people are feeling more confident in their jobs, feeling more confident in the future. What we'd hope to see is that flow through to the business outlook as well."

Emma Veve says no data has yet been released to be able to measure whether business confidence has improved.