Remittances for January 2019

Remittances follow its usual January trend


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

Remittance Receipts 24.8 32.6 30.6 28.2 350.4 330.2 100.0
Private Transfers 22.7 30.0 28.2 25.6 316.4 304.6 90.3
Employee Compensation 1.7 1.8 1.5 1.7 22.9 17.7 6.5
Private Capital Transfer 0.4 0.5 0.8 0.9 9.4 7.1 2.7
Social Benefits 0.1 0.3 0.1 0.1 1.7 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

It is a normal trend for total remittances to fall at the start of each year following the very high receipts in the month of December which was to cater for various occasions and families’ received gifts for the Christmas season. Remittance received during the month of January 2019 dropped by 23.7% to $24.8 million, representing 43.3% of the Total Overseas Exchange Transaction (OET) receipts. This is still above the monthly average of $20.8 million for January of the past 4 years. All categories of remittance declined led by a $7.4 million decrease in private transfers, attributed mainly to the end of the holiday festivities.

Remittance receipts in all major trading currencies decreased over the month of January, except for receipts in EUR, CNY and the WST (Samoan Tala). Remittance received in US dollar (USD) declined the most by $3.1 million, followed by the Australian dollar (AUD) by $2.2 million and the New Zealand dollar (NZD) by $2.0 million. USD denominated remittance still dominates over other currencies, accounting for 34.1% of total remittance receipts over the month, followed by the AUD with 31.1% and the NZD with 29.5%. These coincide with the strengthening of the TOP against the USD.

Foreign Exchange Dealers (FEDs) are still more commonly preferred for the receipt of remittance rather than via Banks, with 86.3% of remittance transferred through FEDs in January compared to 88.0% in the previous month and 86.8% in January 2018.

Nonetheless, remittance receipts were 6.1% higher in comparison to the annual value of the same month last year with a total of $350.4 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

Private transfers remain the largest component of foreign currency inflow, representing 91.2% of the total remittance and 39.5% of the total OET receipts by the end of January. Total private transfers decreased to $22.7 million and were the major driver for the lower overall decrease in remittances over the month. However, this was slightly higher than $22.6 million recorded in the same month of last year. This monthly decline is similar to previous years’ trend reflecting the slow down after the peak in receipts during the Christmas holidays. Receipts of family support in USD decreased by $2.9 million followed by $2.1 million each in both NZD and AUD receipts. Annual movements in the total private transfers continued to rise to a total $316.4 million (3.9%) in January 2019 driven mainly by receipts for family support.

Employee Compensation1

Compensation of employees slightly fell by 5.7% over the month to $1.7 million. This resulted largely from a decline in USD, and AUD receipts for January which outweighed a rise in the NZD and JPY receipts. It also coincides with a 17.7% drop in Seasonal Workers Program (SWP) receipt in AUD whilst the Recognised Seasonal Employees (RSE) receipts rose by 23.3%. Over the year, employee compensation rose by $5.2 million (29.3%) to a total $22.9 million of which $10.0 million are receipts from SWP & RSEs.

Private capital transfer & Social Benefits

Other private transfers for capital expenditures slightly declined by $0.1 million (12.6%) to $0.4 million in January. This was due to lower receipts by households for house construction and renovation related activities compared to the previous month. Social benefits also declined by $0.2 million (75.0%) over the month, falling to its monthly average of $0.1 million. Annually, the private capital transfers rose by $2.3 million and social benefits by $0.9 million and accounted for 2.7% and 0.5% respectively of the total yearly remittances.

Outlook

Remittance receipts are anticipated to fall in the upcoming months due to less busy and eventful months after the new academic year and church activities which occurred in January. 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
   

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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