The IMF Country Reports Series covers economic and financial developments and trends in member countries. Each report, prepared by a staff team after discussions with officials of the country, is published at the option of the member.
This paper describes economic developments in Tonga during the 1990s. From 1993 to 1996, financial policies were quite expansionary. Following the licensing of two new banks, credit growth accelerated in 1994. The National Reserve Bank of Tonga initially adopted an accommodating stance, but in December 1995, tightened monetary policy significantly. Hampered by its poor profitability in the use of indirect monetary instruments, it relied on an increase in reserve requirements. Meanwhile, fiscal policy had added further to demand pressures with the recurrent budget surplus declining, owing to a cost-of-living adjustment to government wages.