In May 2018, the monthly headline inflation rate slowed to 0.1% from 0.4% in April 2018 and 0.2% in May 2017. The trend was largely contributed by the imported component of inflation. Read more in the Inflation report for May 2018.

Total banks’ lending rose over May also adding to the annual balance reaching a new record of $448.2 million. Total bank deposits increased over May and over the year to $596.0 million. Read more in the Banking Sector Developments report for May 2018.

Total banks’ lending increased over April and over the year. This resulted in total banks’ lending reaching a new record of $444.8 million. Total bank deposits fell over the month yet increased over the year to $585.5 million. Read more in the Banking Sector Developments report for March 2018.

It is an usual trend for the total container registrations to increase over the month of May each year due to the annual events that occur during the month and other festivities in the upcoming months. The total container registrations increased over the month of May by 105 containers. Read the Container Registrations for May.

The total container registrations decreased over the month by 91 containers (8.8%) as both business and private containers declined. However, the total containers recorded in April remained above the monthly average of 695 of the past five years. Read the Container Registrations for April.

Total vehicle registrations declined over the month of April by 86 registrations (25.9%), recording a total of 246 registrations. This is slightly higher than the monthly average of 206 vehicles in the past five years. Registrations for all individual vehicles declined during the month. Read more in the Vehicle Registration report for April.

As a partial indicator of activities in the transportation sector, the total vehicle registrations increased over the month by 211 registrations. Majority of the increase was driven by the the increase in private vehicles such as cars, other light vehicles and heavy vehicles. Read more in the Vehicle Registration report for March.

The overall OET balance for the month of May 2018 recorded a deficit of $4.0 million. Subsequently, the official foreign reserves declined to $441.9 million, which is equivalent to 7.5 months of import cover. This was due mainly to lower interbank receipts while interbank payments was sustained. Find out more in the Overseas Exchange Transactions report for May 2018.

In April 2018, the deficit of the overall OET balance widened by $1.5 million to $1.8 million. This was mainly due to a $4.9 million deficit in the current account balance which was partially offset by the surpluses in the capital and the financial accounts. Find out more in the Overseas Exchange Transactions report for April 2018.

Domestically, partial economic indicators were mixed but broadly positive overall. The performance of all sectors of the domestic economy was favorable. The 2017/18 financial year is drawing to an end and the Reserve Bank still expects Tonga’s economic growth to remain above 3% for 2017/18.

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.

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