The total agricultural exports in March almost doubled the exported volume recorded last month, rising by 335.5 tonnes (94.8%) over the month. Almost all exported agricultural commodities increased except for a few crops which were damaged during the cyclone. Read more in the Agricultural Exports Volumes report for March.

The Reserve Bank expects a rebound for the fisheries sector in 2017/18 following a negative growth recorded in 2016/17. This is due to successful market development for our fisheries products as reflected in the recent high volume of exported aquarium products. Read more in the Marine Exports Volume for March 2018.

The arrival of scheduled cargo vessels has returned to normal operations after the disruptions caused by Tropical Cyclone (TC) Gita in February 2018. During the month, eleven cargo vessels arrived in Tonga compared to six cargo vessels in February 2018. Read the Container Registrations for March 2018.

The domestic prices rose significantly over the month by 15.4%, the highest monthly increase in history, causing an overall monthly inflation rate of 6.6%. The monthly inflation was solely driven by the marked increase in domestic food prices particularly for fruits and vegetables. Read more in the Inflation report for March 2018.

Total banks’ lending increased over March by $4.1 million (0.9%) and over the year by $52.4 million (13.4%). Total bank deposits increased over the month by $4.5 million (0.8%) to $581.7 million. Read more in the Banking Sector Developments report for March 2018.

Total international departures climbed over January due to the end of the festive season thus visitors returning to their respective countries of residence. This recorded an increase of 5,301 passengers (52.0%) leaving the Kingdom over the month Read more in the International Arrivals and Departures report for January 2018.

Tonga’s economic growth prospects remains positive in the medium term. The level of foreign reserves is expected to remain at comfortable levels and inflation is anticipated to fall below the Reserve Bank’s inflation reference rate of 5% per annum by the end of 2018.

According to the National Emergency Management Office report, more than 80% of Tonga’s populationwere impacted by TC Gita. As a result, the financial assistance from families and relatives abroad to support their families in terms of recovery and for other family obligations dominated the remittance receipts during the month of March 2018. Read more in the Remittances Report for March 2018.

The Reserve Bank still expects growth in the fisheries sector to continue although growth will be subdued in 2017/18. This is based on the decline in the forecasted growth in this sector of 0.1% in 2016/17. Read more in the Marine Exports Volume for February 2018.

The total monthly remittances fluctuate on a monthly basis but has remained above $20 million since February 2016. In February 2018, remittances continued to decline by $1.4 million (5.7%) to $23.6 million yet much higher than what was recorded in the same period of previous years. Read more in the Remittances Report for February 2018.

The overall OET balance recorded a surplus of $23.9 million over the month of February 2018, reflecting the receipts of $24.3 million for cyclone relief funds. Annually, the overall OET balance recorded a higher surplus of $70.3 million. Find out more in the Overseas Exchange Transactions report for February 2018.

Total banks’ lending increased over February by $2.0 million (0.5%) and over the year by $55.0 million (14.3%). Total bank deposits increased over the month by $2.7 million (0.5%) to $577.2 million. Read more in the Banking Sector Developments report for February 2018.

The damage caused by Tropical Cyclone (TC) Gita to the agricultural sector was estimated at $129.3 million as reported by the Ministry of Agriculture, Food, and Forestry (MAFF). These damages and the disruptions in economic acitivites during the month contributed to lower exports in February, which declined by 211.3 tonnes (37.4%). Read more in the Agricultural Exports Volumes report for February.

At the end of February, only six cargo vessels called at the Queen Salote International Wharf compared to eight cargo vessels in January 2018. On a monthly average, eleven cargo vessels arrived to Tonga in the past twelve months. Read the Container Registrations for February 2018.

Despite a jump in domestic prices over the month, the fall in year‐ended domestic prices have helped drive annual inflation down to 3.4% compared to an 8.9% hike in February 2017 and 6.0% last month. Read more in the Inflation report for January 2018.

Total vehicle registrations declined over the month of February 2018 by 204 registrations (62.8%), recording a total of 121 registrations. This is lower than the monthly average of the past five years. Registrations for all vehicle types declined due to the disruptions caused by Tropical Cyclone (TC) Gita. Read more in the Vehicle Registration report for February.

The Reserve Bank expects growth for the fisheries sector to decline in 2017/18 following a vibrant performance in 2016/17. This is due to lower foreign vessels registered to fish the Tongan waters, and adverse weather effects. Read more in the Marine Exports Volume for January 2018.

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