Browse

You are looking at 1 - 10 of 17 items for :

  • Type: Journal Issue x
  • External debt x
Clear All Modify Search
International Monetary Fund. Asia and Pacific Dept
Tonga’s recovery following the devastation of the 2018 Cyclone Gita has been derailed by a double blow from the pandemic and Cyclone Harold. FY2020 GDP growth is estimated to fall to -2½ percent due to domestic containment measures, a sudden stop in tourism, and investment delays. The full brunt of the pandemic will be felt in FY2021 (beginning July) during peak tourism season, when a deeper contraction is expected. A worse outcome was avoided by early actions to close external borders—which has kept Tonga COVID-19-free—and prompt economic support. Beyond FY2021, the recovery is expected to resume in line with the global recovery, but the magnitude and trajectory is uncertain.
International Monetary Fund. Asia and Pacific Dept
This paper discusses recent economic developments, economic outlook, risks, and challenges in Tonga. The Tongan economy has been rebounding since a contraction in FY2013. Growth accelerated from 2.1 percent in FY2014 to 3.7 percent in FY2015, supported by construction, tourism, strong remittances, and strong private credit, notwithstanding weather-related disruptions to agricultural production. The FY2016 real GDP growth is projected to remain relatively strong at 3.1 percent, driven by a recovery in agriculture and an increase in construction activity in preparation for the South Pacific Games. However, a protracted period of slower growth in advanced and emerging market economies, particularly in Australia and New Zealand, could weigh on Tonga via aid, remittances, and tourism channels.
International Monetary Fund. Asia and Pacific Dept
This 2015 Article IV Consultation highlights that Tonga’s economy is estimated to have grown by about 2 percent in FY2013/14 (year ending June) driven by agriculture and construction, following a contraction in 2012/13 mainly caused by the completion of a large capital project. The external position has strengthened, following large grants and remittance inflows, which have bolstered international reserves. Real GDP growth is expected to average 2–3 percent in FY2014/15–FY2019/20. Although the progress of reconstruction in the aftermath of 2014 Cyclone Ian is slower than expected, the coronation scheduled for July 2015 and preparations for the 2019 South Pacific Games will support economic activity over the next few years.
International Monetary Fund. Asia and Pacific Dept
KEY ISSUES Context: Tonga’s economy is rebounding, partially owing to a recovery in agricultural exports. The outlook for tourism is also improving. The reconstruction from a recent cyclone is expected to lead to both a temporary boost to growth and additional financing needs. Risks to the inflation outlook and the external position are low. Fiscal Policy: The projected fiscal cost relating to the cyclone will be largely met by confirmed funding mainly from donor agencies. In the near term, the authorities should focus on reconstruction activities, while a medium-term fiscal strategy should aim at gradually stabilizing and then reducing the debt-to-GDP ratio, in order to improve Tonga’s moderate risk of debt distress. This will require careful execution of investments related to the 2019 South Pacific Games. Monetary Policy: The deleveraging cycle of the Tongan banks appears to be ending, and thus National Reserve Bank of Tonga should prepare to gradually withdraw liquidity and tighten monetary conditions once the current signs of a recovery of credit growth are confirmed. The authorities plan to lower the cost of credit through supportive credit policies, including by commercializing the Tonga Development Bank. The successful implementation of such plan requires sound safeguards, including a robust governance structure and firm risk management and accountability frameworks. Structural Policy: Structural reforms to facilitate the functioning of credit markets need to be implemented with renewed vigor. The authorities’ intention to gradually phase out existing ad hoc tax incentives is well placed. The promotion of foreign direct investments should focus on business-enabling structural reforms, while the use of tax incentives should be minimized and well targeted.
International Monetary Fund. Asia and Pacific Dept
This staff report on Tonga’s 2013 Article IV Consultation discusses the economic development and policies. Banks in Tonga have been fixing their balance sheets since late 2008. Shrinking the loan books and increasing holdings of reserve assets have prompted negative macro-financial linkages, and reduced business confidence. In response, the National Reserve Bank of Tonga has aggressively infused liquidity into the system, and stepped up risk-based supervision. Progress in improving the regulatory and institutional infrastructure has also continued, including inauguration of a credit bureau. Major gains have been made in budget transparency, the establishment of a Treasury Single Account system, and better prioritization of the budget.
International Monetary Fund
In Tonga, the fiscal position has strengthened but vulnerabilities remain. Directors have welcomed Tonga’s recovery from the global crisis but noted remaining vulnerabilities and a high debt burden. With downside risks clouding the outlook, Directors have emphasized the importance of strengthening policy buffers and the foundation for faster and more inclusive growth. Directors have also encouraged the authorities to implement their fiscal plans within a medium-term framework and to improve further the quality of public spending to meet Tonga’s development objectives.
Mr. Benedicte Baduel and Mr. Robert T Price
The Debt Sustainability Analysis (DSA) for low-income countries (LICs) is a standardized analytical tool to monitor debt sustainability. This paper uses DSAs from three periods around the time of the global economic crisis to analyze the projected trajectories of debt ratios for a sample of LICs. The aggregate data suggest that LIC vulnerabilities improved on the whole during the period prior to the crisis, and that the crisis had a strong short-run impact on key ratios of debt (debt-to-GDP, -exports, and -fiscal revenues) and debt service (debt service-to-exports, and -revenues). Although projected debt burdens increased following the crisis, debt indicators tend to return to their pre-crisis levels over the projection horizon. This may reflect a strong and durable policy response by LICs towards the crisis, or also reflect specific assumptions on the long-run growth dividends of public external debt.
International Monetary Fund
Tonga’s economy showed recovery from recent shocks on the back of stronger tourism activity and fiscal expansion. In spite of generous grant inflows, Tonga remains at “high risk of debt distress” according to World Bank-IMF debt sustainability analysis. Executive Directors stressed that fiscal consolidation is necessary to ensure fiscal sustainability, and encouraged authorities to set up a comprehensive debt-management strategy to limit the credit and currency risks. Directors welcomed the government’s policy to pursue structural reforms to promote private sector activity and restore fiscal sustainability.
International Monetary Fund
Tonga’s high debt and the apparent ineffectiveness of the monetary transmission mechanism constrain the authorities’ ability to support growth. In the near term, the strength of the global recovery is by no means assured, and there are multiple risks that could weaken prospects in both Europe and the United States. A further rise in world commodity and food prices would also hit Tonga hard, feeding through to inflation, growth, and the current account deficit. Tonga’s high public debt now poses a major risk to economic prospects.
International Monetary Fund
We cannot allow the return of economic stability to signify a return to "business as usual" for the IMF. The crisis exposed huge cracks in the international financial architecture of which the Fund is a key part. We have an historic responsibility to fix them. I urge all of us to recommit to seeing our collective goals to the finish line before reform fatigue sets in.