Remittances for February 2019

Monthly receipts of family support continues above $20 million average


  TOP$ millions
  Month Ended Year Ended  
  Feb 19 Jan 19 Dec 18 Nov 18 Feb 19 Feb 18 Shares
of totals*

Remittance Receipts 24.3 24.8 32.6 30.6 350.3 334.4 100.0
Private Transfers 21.8 22.7 30.0 28.2 316.5 307.3 90.3
Employee Compensation 1.5 1.7 1.8 1.5 23.1 18.0 6.6
Private Capital Transfer 0.6 0.4 0.5 0.8 8.8 8.2 2.5
Social Benefits 0.3 0.1 0.3 0.1 1.9 0.9 0.5

*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

In February 2019, total remittance receipts fell by $0.6 million (2.4%) to $24.3 million, however, remained above the $20.0 million monthly average for February of the past 4 years. This was attributed to lower receipts for family support and from seasonal workers. Total remittances represented 50.4% of the total overseas exchange transaction (OET) receipts during the month, compared to 43.3% in the previous month. This reflects an overall decline in OET receipts during the month.

Remittance receipts in major trading currencies continue to fall over the month of February, receipts in New Zealand dollar (NZD) declined the most by $0.8 million followed by the Australian dollar (AUD) and US dollar (USD) by $0.3 million and $0.1 million respectively. These movements may also have been supported by the depreciation of the NZD and AUD against the TOP. USD denominated remittance still accounts for most of the total remittance receipts at 33.9% during the month, followed by the AUD with 31.8% and the NZD with 28.3%.

Foreign Exchange Dealers (FEDs) remains as the preferred channel for the receipts of remittance rather than via Banks. 86.3% of remittance were transferred through FEDs in February 2019 compared to 87.2% in February 2018.

In year ended terms, total remittance receipts grew by 4.8% in comparison to the annual value of the same month last year with a total of $350.3 million. This was due to a rise in all remittance related receipts supported by family support, major events, and other social occasions which took place throughout the year. The consistent rise in receipts for family support and from seasonal workers abroad continued to be key drivers in the yearly increase.

Private Transfers

Total private transfers continued to decline by $0.8 million (3.7%) to $21.8 million due to lower family support & gifts received over the month. This is a similar trend for February over the past four years with an average of $18.4 million. Total private transfer receipts in NZD decreased the most by $0.6 million followed by USD and AUD receipts with a decline of $0.3 million each. Receipts of private transfers continued to be the main purpose of remittances which accounted for 90.0% of total remittance receipts and 45.3% of total OET receipts over the month. In year ended terms, the total receipts of private transfers however, continued to rise by 3.0% to $316.5 million, due mainly to higher receipts for family support.

Employee Compensation1

Compensation of employees slightly fell by $0.2 million (9.2%) to $1.5 million, which accounted for 6.3% of the total remittances received in February 2019. This was solely driven by a fall in the receipts from seasonal workers over the month. Receipts in NZD declined the most by $0.1 million followed by receipts in AUD and JPY which outweighed a rise in USD receipts. In year ended terms, receipts for compensation of employees rose by $5.2 million (28.7%) to $23.1 million of which $10.4 million are receipts from seasonal workers abroad. Australia contributed the most seasonal workers’ receipts of $7.2 million while the seasonal workers from New Zealand only contributed $3.2 million.

Private capital transfer & Social Benefits

Despite the decline in the private transfers and compensation of employees over the month, the private capital transfers and social benefits increased. Other private transfers for capital expenditures rose by $0.2 million (36.1%) due to higher receipts by households for house construction and renovation related activities. Social benefits also increased by $0.2 million over the month. Annually, the private capital transfers rose by $0.6 million and social benefits by $1.0 million and accounted for 2.5% and 0.5% respectively of the total yearly remittances.

Outlook

Remittance receipts are expected to increase in the near term supported by the rising number of seasonal employees, upcoming busy season which consists of Easter, family month and annual church conferences. 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 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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