A new report by the World Bank says Fiji was the strongest performing Pacific economy in 2022, buoyed by a rebounding tourism sector GDP growth increased to an estimated 15.1 percent in 2022.

According to the report – Pacific Economic Update – Fiji is forecast to continue a stable growth trajectory and see inflation fall as low as 2 per cent through 2023.

“After being severely hit by COVID-19, and tepid signs of recovery in 2022, economies across the Pacific can expect growth in 2023, but for many people it will not feel like a return to pre-COVD-19 times,” said the World Bank’s lead economist for the Pacific, David Gould.

“After three years of economic contraction in Fiji, for example, growth in 2022 is estimated to have climbed to 15 per cent, yet output is expected to remain below 2019 levels until 2024.”

He said the new report came at a critical juncture for Pacific Island countries, adding that closure of borders from 2020-22 during the pandemic had eased after dealing a severe blow to the tourism-dependent economies of Fiji, Vanuatu, Samoa, Tonga, and Palau.

However, he said the region was now being buffeted by inflation and global economic uncertainty.

The report was launched Tuesday at the World Bank office in Suva.