Warriors Viliame Lotawa and William Dyer welcome tourists in the west. Picture: FILE/ BALJEET SINGH US credit ratings agency S&P Global Ratings has revised upwards its 2022 economic growth outlook for Fiji based on “an impressive tourism sector recovery”. “Visitor arrivals are tracking above pre-pandemic levels for the first eight months of calendar-2023, compared with the same period in 2019,” it stated in its sovereign credit ratings assessment for Fiji early this week. “We also revised up our growth estimate for 2022 to 20 per cent, from previous expectations of 12.4 per cent.” S&P maintained its ratings for Fiji at B+/Stable/B (outlook stable), with downside risks coming from budgetary or weakened external metrics, which may force it to lower its credit ratings for Fiji. “This might be caused, for example, by renewed disruptions to international tourism, a severe natural disaster, or a reversal of the government’s fiscal consolidation strategy,” it stated. S&P’s growth forecast of six per cent this year is slightly lower than eight per cent projected by the Reserve Bank of Fiji (RBF). RBF meanwhile announced this week it has maintained the Overnight Policy Rate at 0.25 per cent, with “high system-wide liquidity — $2.3 billion on 25 October” keeping current lending rates at a “historical low”. RBF governor Ariff Ali said the economy was on track to achieve expected growth for this year based on strong tourism industry performance. “The influx of visitors up to September and the high room rates boosted revenue gains per room sold,” Mr Ali said. “In addition, the outlook for the tourism industry remains promising based on forward bookings for October.”

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