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Fiji Economy

    Economy—overview: Fiji, endowed with forest, mineral, and fish resources, is one of the most developed of the Pacific island economies, though still with a large subsistence sector. Sugar exports and a growing tourist industry are the major sources of foreign exchange. Sugar processing makes up one-third of industrial activity. Roughly 250,000 tourists visit each year. Political uncertainty and drought, however, contribute to substantial fluctuations in earnings from tourism and sugar and to the emigration of skilled workers. Fiji's growth slowed in 1997 because the sugar industry suffered from low world prices and rent disputes between farmers and landowners. Drought in 1998 further damaged the sugar industry. Overall growth in 1991-98 has averaged less than 2% per year, with long-term problems of low investment and uncertain property rights. The central bank predicts growth of 2% to 3% in 1999.

    GDP: purchasing power parity—$5.4 billion (1998 est.)

    GDP—real growth rate: 2.4% (1998 est.)

    GDP—per capita: purchasing power parity—$6,700 (1998 est.)

    GDP—composition by sector:
    agriculture: 19%
    industry: 22%
    services: 59% (1996 est.)

    Population below poverty line: NA%

    Household income or consumption by percentage share:
    lowest 10%: NA%
    highest 10%: NA%

    Inflation rate (consumer prices): 3% (1997 est.)

    Labor force: 235,000

    Labor force—by occupation: subsistence agriculture 67%, wage earners 18%, salary earners 15% (1987)

    Unemployment rate: 6% (1997 est.)

    Budget:
    revenues: $540.65 million
    expenditures: $742.65 million, including capital expenditures of $NA (1997 est.)

    Industries: sugar, tourism, copra, gold, silver, clothing, lumber, small cottage industries

    Industrial production growth rate: 2.9% (1995)

    Electricity—production: 545 million kWh (1996)

    Electricity—production by source:
    fossil fuel: 21.1%
    hydro: 78.9%
    nuclear: 0%
    other: 0% (1996)

    Electricity—consumption: 545 million kWh (1996)

    Electricity—exports: 0 kWh (1996)

    Electricity—imports: 0 kWh (1996)

    Agriculture—products: sugarcane, coconuts, cassava (tapioca), rice, sweet potatoes, bananas; cattle, pigs, horses, goats; fish

    Exports: $655 million (f.o.b., 1996)

    Exports—commodities: sugar 32%, clothing, gold, processed fish, lumber

    Exports—partners: Australia 27%, UK 14%, NZ 12%, US 8%, Japan (1996)

    Imports: $838 million (f.o.b., 1996)

    Imports—commodities: machinery and transport equipment, petroleum products, food, chemicals

    Imports—partners: Australia 44%, NZ 15%, US 9%, Japan 5%, Singapore 5% (1996)

    Debt—external: $217 million (1996 est.)

    Economic aid—recipient: $40.3 million (1995)

    Currency: 1 Fijian dollar (F$) = 100 cents

    Exchange rates: Fijian dollars (F$) per US$1—1.9556 (January 1999), 1.9868 (1998), 1.4437 (1997), 1.4033 (1996), 1.4063 (1995), 1.4641 (1994)

    Fiscal year: calendar year

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Revised 1-Mar-99
Copyright © 1999 Photius Coutsoukis (all rights reserved)