Remittances for April 2019

Steady flow of remittance in April


  TOP$ millions
  Month Ended Year Ended  
  Apr 19 Mar 19 Feb 19 Jan 19 Apr 19 Apr 18 Shares
of totals*

Remittance Receipts 27.5 27.3 24.3 24.8 350.8 340.4 100.0
Private Transfers 24.1 24.1 21.8 22.7 316.1 310.2 90.1
Employee Compensation 2.4 2.2 1.5 1.7 23.8 20.0 6.8
Private Capital Transfer 0.8 1.0 0.6 0.4 9.2 9.0 2.6
Social Benefits 0.2 0.1 0.3 0.1 1.7 1.3 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

A slight rise in employees compensation by $0.2 million (7.7%) over the month of April 2019 drove the total remittances higher by $0.2 million. Social benefits rose by $0.1 million but was offset by a decline in private capital transfers. Private transfers for family support remained at $24.1 million similar to that of last month. Total remittances represented 44.8% of the total overseas exchange transaction (OET) receipts during the month compared to a 47.3% in March 2019, reflecting an overall rise in total OET receipts.

In year ended terms, total remittance receipts were 3.1% higher than the previous year, at $350.8 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 increase in receipts for family support and receipts from seasonal workers abroad continued to be key drivers in the yearly rise.

During April 2019, the US dollar (USD) remained the top currency for remittance receipts accounting for 40.8% of total remittance. Receipts in New Zealand dollar (NZD) and Australian dollar (AUD) followed with 28.7% and 24.7% respectively. However, remittance received in USD declined by $0.4 million (3.5%) followed by a $0.3 million (4.9%) in AUD receipts. The weaker AUD may have contributed to the fall in AUD receipts. Nonetheless, receipts in NZD rose by $0.6 million (8.8%).

Foreign Exchange Dealers (FEDs) continued to be the preferred channel for receipt of remittance. A 84.8% share of total remittances were received via FEDs in April 2019 compared to 87.3% share recorded last month and 85.0% in April 2018. The general public continued to prefer sending and receiving money via FEDs compared to banks, as FEDs have more access points and their services are much quicker.

Private Transfers

Private transfers marginally rose by 0.1% to a total of $24.1 million in April 2019, similar to the amount recorded in March 2019. Majority of private transfers are for family support and gifts from family abroad. It continued to hold the largest component of total receipts, representing 87.6% of the total remittance receipts and 39.2% of the total OET receipts. In year ended terms, the total receipts of private transfers continued to rise by 1.9% ($5.9 million) to $316.1 million, due mainly to receipts for family support.

Employee Compensation1

Compensation of employees increased by $0.2 million over the month (7.7%) to $2.4 million which accounted for 8.6% of the total remittances in April 2019. Both receipts from the other wages & salaries and RSE /SWP workers rose over the month by $1.0 million and $0.07 million respectively. Previous liaison with the Ministry of Internal Affairs confirmed that seasonal workers return home mostly between November to April of every year which explained the high receipts recorded these past months.

In year ended terms, total employee compensation rose by $3.9 million (19.4%) to $23.8 million. Other wages and salaries accounted for 51.1% ($12.2) of the employee compensation receipts over the year and the remaining 48.9% ($11.6 million) were from RSE/SWP workers. New Zealand contributed the most to the seasonal workers’ receipts of $8.3 million while the seasonal workers from Australia only contributed $3.3 million.

Private capital transfer & Social Benefits

Lower private capital receipts for building and renovation of houses by $0.1 million was recorded over the month. Receipts for social benefits on the other hand rose by $0.1 million. Private capital transfers and social benefits receipts accounted for 3.1% and 0.8% respectively of the total remittance receipts in April 2019. Over the year, both the private capital transfers and social benefits receipts rose by $0.2 million and $0.4 million respectively.

Outlook

Remittance receipts are expected to rise significantly next month and the near term as Tonga is approaching the upcoming busy season particularly the family month of May and the 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 March
Released on 3 July 2019 | 185 KB
pdfIcon February
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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