Remittances for November 2018

Remittances climb in November reflective of preparations for festive season


  TOP$ millions
  Month Ended Year Ended  
  Nov 18 Oct 18 Sep 18 Aug 18 Nov 18 Nov 17 Shares
of totals*

Remittance Receipts 30.6 28.2 27.7 31.6 352.1 326.0 100.0
Private Transfers 28.2 25.6 24.9 28.5 3178 303.4 90.3
Employee Compensation 1.5 1.7 1.9 2.1 22.5 16.2 6.4
Private Capital Transfer 0.8 0.9 0.8 0.9 10.3 5.5 2.9
Social Benefits 0.1 0.1 0.1 0.0 1.5 0.9 0.4

*Based on year ended remittance receipts numbers
Note: Numbers may not add up precisely to the totals due to rounding errors.
Please note November 2018 data was revised due to inclusion of new data submitted by the Foreign Exchange Dealers
Source: National Reserve Bank of Tonga | Banks | Foreign Exchange Dealers

Total remittances increased by $2.4 million to $30.6 million in November which is in contrast to the normal monthly trend for November in the past five years. However, this monthly rise was driven mostly by higher private transfers and reflects households possibly gearing up for Christmas celebrations, end of year prize giving ceremonies for schools, and other festivities during the holiday season.

The increase in private transfers resulted in driving the overall rise in Overseas Exchange Transaction (OET) receipts. However, the share of total remittances (in the total OET receipts) declined to 37.6% in November from 40.7% last month due to the higher receipts of official transfers outweighing the increase in remittances. The AUD currency was the most favourable for remittance receipts and recorded a total of $10.5 million. This coincides with the appreciation of the AUD against the TOP supportive of the movement in remittances. This was followed by the USD receipts with $10.1 million (USD depreciated) and then the NZD which recorded a balance of $8.3 million for November (NZD appreciated).

In year ended terms, total remittances rose to $352.1 million as a result of increases in all categories. The increase was supported by family support, events, and various occasions which took place throughout the year. The continuous increase in receipts for family support and from seasonal workers abroad continued to be key drivers in the annual rise.

Over the month, the Foreign Exchange Dealers (FEDs) remained as the most popular channel for remittance receipts accounting for 87.2% share of total remittances which is higher than the share of 86.3% last month yet slightly lower than the share of November 2017 which was 87.9%. The current share reflects the convenience of sending money via FEDs compared to banks as they have more access points.

Private Transfers

In November, total private transfer receipts increased by $2.6 million (10.3%) to $28.2 million. This was a result of higher receipts of private transfers as gifts and for family support especially as the festive season nears. The AUD was the most favourable currency used for private transfers recording a total of $9.9 million over the month. The USD and NZD followed with a total of $9.4 million and $7.8 million respectively. Receipts of private transfers continued to be the main purpose of remittances which accounted for 91.8% (higher than 90.7% last month) of total remittance receipts. However, private transfers recorded a share of 34.6% (lower than 36.9% last month) of total OET receipts in November reflecting the greater increase in the overall OET receipts from other sources. The annual total receipts of private transfers rose yet again by $11.6 million (3.8%) driven mainly by receipts for family support.

Employee Compensation1

The total compensation of employees’ receipts declined further over the month to $1.5 million from last month. This resulted largely from a decline in AUD receipts offsetting a rise in NZD receipts over the month. The annual movement, however, remained positive recording an increase in total receipts for compensation of employees continued by $6.2 million (38.8%). This indicates the consistent financial assistance from abroad which are still being remitted to respective local families.

Private capital transfer & Social Benefits

The private capital transfer receipts declined slightly by $0.1 million. This was due to lower receipts of private funds for home and household projects (particularly for construction and renovation purposes by families). On the other hand, social benefits receipts remained stable over the month noting no significant movements. The private capital transfer and the social benefits receipts account for only 2.8% and 0.2% respectively of the total remittances for November 2018. Over the year, the private capital transfers increased by $4.8 million reflecting on-going financial assistance from families overseas to finance a local home and household improvements. The receipts for social benefits rose also over the year to November by $0.6 million.

Outlook

Remittance receipts are forecasted to remain at high levels in the upcoming months, however, to increase at a slower pace. This is expected to be supported by events which include increase in number of labourers which can be sent abroad on the Recognised Seasonal Employer (RSE) and Seasonal Worker Programme (SWP) schemes, school anniversaries, family reunions, end of year prizegiving awards as well as the upcoming christmas and festive season. 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 2018


pdfIcon November
Released on 5 April 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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