The price of imported food still on the rise

The National Reserve Bank of Tonga (NRBT) projected a 6.7% rise of the annual headline inflation rate in October 2016. However, the annual headline inflation rate rose by 6.1% in October 2016. Read more in the Inflation Rate report for October 2016.

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Agricultural export plunges as Tongan squash season ends

November’s agricultural exports volume has declined immensely by 81% due to the squash season coming to an end therefore the amount of squash exported overseas fell by from 2693.2 tonnes to only 59.8 tonnes. Read more in the Agricultural Exports Volumes Report for November.

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Demand for light vehicles and cars continue to drive rise in registrations

Vehicle registrations increased by 65 vehicles (23.1%) over October 2016. This is higher than the monthly growth recorded over October 2015. Looking forward, vehicle registrations are projected to remain firm in the near term. Read more in the Vehicle Registrations Report for October.

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Higher private container registrations recorded over October

The total number of container registrations slightly declined over the month by 4 registrations (0.5%) despite an additional cargo ship arriving in October 2016 compared to the previous month. Read more in the Container Registrations Report for October.

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Squash season drove exports volume to a new high record

The squash harvesting season was the major contributor that drove the hike in total agricultural exports volume over the month of October to 3,327.4 tonnes, recording its highest squash export since 2013. Read more in the Agricultural Exports Volumes Report for October.

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Lower import payments escaped the overall deficit

Total OET receipts remained high at $61.3 million in October despite falling by $1.4 million (2.2%) over the month. Total OET payments also fell to around $52.2 million in October 2016. You can find out more about this in the Overseas Exchange Transactions report for October 2016.

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Monthly Economic Review for January

The NRBT’s outlook for strong domestic economic activity remains in the medium term. The level of foreign reserves is also expected to remain comfortable supported by expected higher receipts of remittances and foreign aid, despite the projected rise in imports.

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High current account payments widened overall deficit

In September 2016, the total OET receipts continued to rise by $1.7 million (2.7%) to $62.7 million while overseas payment also recorded a record high of $61.3 million. You can find out more about this in the Overseas Exchange Transactions report for September 2016.

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Deposits declined while lending continues to grow strongly

Over November 2016, total lending by banks continued to increase by $9.3 million (2.5%) to $377.5 million. However, Total bank deposits decreased by $3.9 million (0.8%) to $492.9 million during the same month. Find out more in the Banking Sector Developments report for November 2016.

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Both lending and deposits rise over October

Lending by banks rose to $368.2 million over the month of October 2016. Over the same period, Over the month, total bank deposits increased by $5.6 million (1.1%) to a new high record of $496.8 million. Find out more in the Banking Sector Developments report for October 2016.

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Deposits rise to a new record high

Total banks’ lending rose to $362.7 million over September 2016. Over the same period, total bank deposits increased by $9.3 million (1.9%) to a new record high of $491.2 million. Find out more in the Banking Sector Developments report for September 2016.

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Rising outflow for gifts and family support abroad

Total OET receipts rose to $61.0 million in August, $4.0 million (7.0%) higher than the previous month. Total OET payments rose by $0.5 million (1.0%) in August 2016 to $52.8 million. You can find out more about this in the Overseas Exchange Transactions report for August 2016.

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Marine exports continue to fall whilst aquarium exports rise

The National Reserve Bank of Tonga (NRBT) expects the fisheries sector will continue to grow, with tuna exports being the main contributor. Read more in the Marine Exports Volume for September 2016.

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Decline in invertebrate exports driving lower aquarium products

The National Reserve Bank of Tonga (NRBT) expects the fisheries sector will continue to grow, with tuna exports being the main contributor. Read more in the Marine Exports Volume for August 2016.

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No cruise ship arrivals drive total arrivals & departures lower

There were no cruise ships arriving during the month, resulting in a decline in international arrivals by 1,873 passengers (18.1%) over the month. Read more in the International Arrivals and Departures report for September.

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Cruise ship arrivals driving monthly increase

The performance of the tourism industry improved over the month, supported by an increase in the total number of international arrivals by 1,501 (17.0%). Read more in the International Arrivals and Departures report for August.

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Household loans steered strong credit growth

The banks’ loan to deposit ratio of 80% - 90% is anticipated to be achieved progressively over 18 months. This measure is to encourage the utilization of the excess liquidity in the banking system to increase lending. Find out more in the Banking Sector Developments report for August 2016.

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Monthly Economic Review for November

The NRBT’s outlook for strong domestic economic activity remains in the near term. The level of foreign reserves is also expected to remain comfortable supported by expected higher receipts of remittances and foreign aid, despite the projected rise in imports.

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Remittances remained high as Christmas season approaches

Remittances slightly rose over the month of October 2016 by 1.2% ($0.3 million) to $23.2 million, underpinned by higher inflows of private transfers mainly receipts for family support. Read more in the Remittances Report for October.

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Moderate inflow of personal transfers in September

Remittances have eased from $24.8 million in August 2016 to $22.9 million in September 2016. In year ended terms, total remittances reached $262.1 million, which is $48.6 million (22.7%) higher than the previous year. Read more in the Remittances Report for September.

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Registrations lift for all categories except cars

The September 2016 vehicle registrations picked up by 27 vehicles (10.6%) over the month, which was higher compared to performance last month where vehicle registrations slowed by 54 vehicles (17.3%). Read more in the Vehicle Registrations Report for September.

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