Remittances for July 2019

Higher remittances for family support and gifts


  TOP$ millions
  Month Ended Year Ended  
  Jul 19 Jun 19 May 19 Apr 19 Jul 19 Jul 18 Shares
of totals*

Remittance Receipts 32.1 27.0 34.9 27.5 348.6 348.6 100.0
Private Transfers 29.9 24.0 30.9 24.1 314.7 314.1 90.3
Employee Compensation 2.1 2.3 2.8 2.4 23.9 23.2 6.9
Private Capital Transfer 0.1 0.6 1.0 0.8 8.5 9.9 2.4
Social Benefits 0.1 0.1 0.1 0.2 1.6 1.5 0.4

* Based on year ended remittance receipts numbers
Note: Numbers may not add up precisely to the totals due to rounding errors.
Source: National Reserve Bank of Tonga | Banks | Foreign Exchange Dealers

The total remittances for July 2019 rose by $5.1 million (18.9%) to a total $32.1 million, attributed to higher private transfer receipts which are mainly family support. The events during the month contributed to this high level which included various events of the Heilala Week Festival, and other church and family events. Private transfers receipts outweighed the declines in private capital transfer, compensation of employees, and social benefits recorded over the month.

The share of total remittances in the total OET receipts rose to 48.4% in July 2019, compared to 26.8% in June 2019 and was due to the overall decline total Overseas Exchange Transaction (OET) receipts whilst the total remittances increased. Annually, total remittance receipts was stable at $348.6 million similar to that recorded in July 2018. Private capital transfers declined by $1.4 million and offset the rise in private transfers, compensation of employees and social benefits.

Remittances received in all major trading currencies increased over the month coinciding with the rise in total remittance receipts. The strengthening of the New Zealand Dollar (NZD) and the Australian Dollar (AUD) against the TOP may have supported the amount of remittances received in these currencies. However, the US Dollar (USD) remained the top currency for remittance receipts accounting for 42.2% of total remittances. Receipts in AUD and NZD followed with 26.7% and 24.9%, respectively.

Foreign Exchange Dealers (FEDs) continued to be the preferred channel for receipt of remittances as the share of total remittances received via FEDs in July 2019 rose by 3.8 percentage points to 87.1%, and the remaining 12.9% were received via the banks. The general public preference for sending and receiving money via FEDs is due to accessibility and faster services.

Private Transfers

The total private transfers increased by $5.8 million (24.2%) to $29.9 million which are mostly for family support and gifts, and it is the most significant component of total remittance receipts at 93.0% and 45.0% of the total OET receipts. This may have also been supported by celebrations during the July 2019 such as King Tupou VI’s birthday and Heilala Week festivities. The total receipts of private transfers for the year ended July 2019 rose at a slower pace by $0.6 million (0.2%) driven mainly by receipts for family support.

Employee Compensation1

Over the month of July 2019, the total compensation of employees receipts was $2.1 million, slightly declined by $0.2 million (8.0%), and accounted for 6.5% of the total remittances received over the month. This was owed to a $0.3 million decline in receipts from seasonal workers abroad, which outweighed a $0.1 million (7.4%) rise in receipts from the other wages & salaries.

In year ended terms, total employee compensation rose by $0.7 million (3.1%) to $23.9 million. Other wages and salaries accounted for 51.6% ($12.3 million) of the employee compensation receipts over the year, and the remaining 48.4% ($11.6 million) was from RSE/SWP workers. New Zealand RSE workers contributed the most to the seasonal workers’ receipts of $9.1 million, while the seasonal workers from Australia only contributed $2.5 million.

Private capital transfer & Social Benefits

The private capital transfer receipts declined by $0.5 million, due mainly to lower private capital receipts particularly for construction purposes by individual families. Additionally, social benefits receipts fell by $0.1 million resulting from lower receipts of pension funds. The private capital transfer and the social benefits receipts accounts for 0.4% and 0.2% respectively of the total remittances for July 2019. Over the year, the private capital transfers decreased by $1.4 million while the social benefits receipts increased by $0.1 million.

Outlook

Remittance receipts are projected to remain at high levels in the upcoming months supported by annual events such as the preparations for September month (Katoanga Sepitema ‘a e Kakai Fefine) for the women of respective churches and other celebrations. The Reserve Bank will continue to closely monitor the remittance receipts given it is the largest source of foreign exchange inflow for the Tongan economy.


1 - Employee compensation is the sum of wages and salaries from the seasonal workers abroad, Tongan residents working short term overseas, and resident employees serving foreign organizations.


Remittances Releases

Remittances Releases for 2019


pdfIcon July
Released on 6 December 2019 | 245 KB
   

pdfIcon May
Released on 1 October 2019 | 156 KB
pdfIcon June
Released on 17 October 2019 | 241 KB

pdfIcon March
Released on 3 July 2019 | 185 KB
pdfIcon April
Released on 29 July 2019 | 247 KB

pdfIcon January
Released on 18 June 2019 | 185 KB
pdfIcon February
Released on 21 June 2019 | 205 KB

2018


pdfIcon November
Released on 5 April 2019 | 210 KB
pdfIcon December
Released on 1 May 2019 | 210 KB

pdfIcon September
Released on 7 February 2019 | 210 KB
pdfIcon September
Released on 7 February 2019 | 210 KB

pdfIcon July
Released on 23 November 2018 | 204 KB
pdfIcon August
Released on 23 November 2018 | 388 KB

pdfIcon May
Released on 20 August 2018 | 212 KB
pdfIcon June
Released on 10 October 2018 | 189 KB 

pdfIcon March
Released on 16 May 2018 | 220 KB
pdfIcon April
Released on 20 August 2018 | 192 KB

pdfIcon January
Released on 16 May 2018 | 220 KB
pdfIcon February
Released on 31 May 2018 | 200 KB

2017


pdfIcon December
Released on 22 March 2018 | 430 KB
pdfIcon November
Released on 2 February 2018 | 208 KB

pdfIcon October
Released on 25 January 2018 | 204 KB
pdfIcon September
Released on 27 December 2017 | 457 KB

pdfIcon August
Released on 27 November 2017 | 464 KB
pdfIcon July
Released on 16 September 2017 | 214 KB

pdfIcon June
Released on 16 September 2017 | 205 KB
pdfIcon May
Released on 15 August 2017 | 469 KB

pdfIcon April
Released on 10 July 2017 | 447 KB
pdfIcon March
Released on 29 June 2017 | 450 KB

pdfIcon February
Released on 2 June 2017 | 488 KB
pdfIcon January
Released on 2 June 2016 | 490 KB

2016


pdfIcon December
Released on 9 May 2017 | 451 KB
pdfIcon November
Released on 9 May 2017 | 534 KB

pdfIcon October
Released on 11 January 2017 | 438 KB
pdfIcon September
Released on 11 January 2017 | 438 KB

pdfIcon August
Released on 25 November 2016 | 444 KB
pdfIcon July
Released on 9 November 2016 | 441 KB

pdfIcon June
Released on 5 September 2016 | 227 KB
pdfIcon May
Released on 28 July 2016 | 227 KB

pdfIcon April
Released on 15 July 2016 | 205 KB
pdfIcon March
Released on 3 June 2016 | 208 KB

pdfIcon February
Released on 2 June 2016 | 208 KB
pdfIcon January
Released on 4 May 2016 | 208 KB

2015


pdfIcon December
Released on 4 May 2016 | 213 KB
pdfIcon November
Released on 4 May 2016 | 211 KB

pdfIcon October
Released on 1 February 2016 | 471 KB
pdfIcon September
Released on 4 January 2016 | 413 KB

pdfIcon August
Released on 4 January 2016 | 429 KB
pdfIcon July
Released on 22 December 2015 | 440 KB

pdfIcon June
Released on 9 October 2015 | 255 KB
pdfIcon May
Released on 23 September 2015 | 296 KB

pdfIcon April
Released on 22 July 2015 | 224 KB
   

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