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Tonga Economy Profile 2017

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Economy - overviewTonga has a small, open, island economy and is the last constitutional monarchy among the Pacific Island countries. It has a narrow export base in agricultural goods. Squash, vanilla beans, and yams are the main crops. Agricultural exports, including fish, make up two-thirds of total exports. Tourism is the second-largest source of hard currency earnings following remittances. Tonga had 53,800 visitors in 2015. The country must import a high proportion of its food, mainly from New Zealand.

The country remains dependent on external aid and remittances from overseas Tongans to offset its trade deficit. The government is emphasizing the development of the private sector, encouraging investment, and is committing increased funds for healthcare and education. Tonga's English-speaking and educated workforce offer a viable labor market, and the tropical climate provides fertile soil. Renewable energy and deep sea mining also offer opportunities for investment.

Tonga has a reasonably sound basic infrastructure and well developed social services. The government faces high unemployment among the young, moderate inflation, pressures for democratic reform, and rising civil service expenditures.
GDP (purchasing power parity)$557 million (2016 est.)
$542.2 million (2015 est.)
$524.3 million (2014 est.)
note: data are in 2016 dollars
GDP (official exchange rate)$430 million (2016 est.)
GDP - real growth rate2.7% (2016 est.)
3.4% (2015 est.)
2.9% (2014 est.)
GDP - per capita (PPP)$5,300 (2016 est.)
$5,200 (2015 est.)
$5,000 (2014 est.)
note: data are in 2016 dollars
GDP - composition, by end usehousehold consumption: 78.6%
government consumption: 21.4%
investment in fixed capital: 41.3%
investment in inventories: -0.1%
exports of goods and services: 19%
imports of goods and services: -60.2% (2016 est.)
GDP - composition by sectoragriculture: 19.2%
industry: 20.6%
services: 60.1% (2016 est.)
Population below poverty line24% (FY03/04 est.)
Labor force33,800 (2011 est.)
Labor force - by occupationagriculture: 27.5%
industry: 27.5%
services: 2,006% (2006 est.)
Unemployment rate1.1% (2011 est.)
1.1% (2006)
Household income or consumption by percentage sharelowest 10%: NA%
highest 10%: NA%
Budgetrevenues: $132.7 million
expenditures: $132.7 million (2016 est.)
Taxes and other revenues30.9% of GDP (2016 est.)
Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-)0% of GDP (2016 est.)
Public debt45.1% of GDP (2013)
46.5% of GDP (2012)
Inflation rate (consumer prices)1.2% (2016 est.)
-1% (2015 est.)
Commercial bank prime lending rate8% (31 December 2016 est.)
8.09% (31 December 2015 est.)
Stock of narrow money$115.6 million (31 December 2016 est.)
$101.8 million (31 December 2015 est.)
Stock of broad money$218.3 million (31 December 2016 est.)
$203.9 million (31 December 2015 est.)
Stock of domestic credit$148.4 million (31 December 2016 est.)
$128.4 million (31 December 2015 est.)
Market value of publicly traded shares$NA
Agriculture - productssquash, coconuts, copra, bananas, vanilla beans, cocoa, coffee, sweet potatoes, cassava, taro and kava
Industriestourism, construction, fishing
Industrial production growth rate6% (2016 est.)
Current Account Balance-$9 million (2016 est.)
-$30 million (2015 est.)
Exports$35 million (2016 est.)
$30.6 million (2015 est.)
Exports - commoditiessquash, fish, vanilla beans, root crops
Exports - partnersJapan 16.1%, US 15.5%, Fiji 12.8%, NZ 12.6%, South Korea 11.1%, Samoa 10.8%, Australia 7.5%, American Samoa 6.8% (2015)
Imports$288.2 million (2016 est.)
$263 million (2015 est.)
Imports - commoditiesfoodstuffs, machinery and transport equipment, fuels, chemicals
Imports - partnersFiji 37.6%, NZ 21.2%, China 14.1%, US 6.4%, Australia 4.5% (2015)
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold$180.7 million (31 December 2016 est.)
$156.1 million (31 December 2015 est.)
Debt - external$233.1 million (31 December 2016 est.)
$206.2 million (31 December 2015 est.)
Stock of direct foreign investment - at home$117.2 million (31 December 2016 est.)
$110.2 million (31 December 2015 est.)
Exchange ratespa'anga (TOP) per US dollar -
2.26 (2016 est.)
2.106 (2015 est.)
2.106 (2014 est.)
1.847 (2013 est.)
1.72 (2012 est.)
Fiscal year1 July - 30 June

Source: CIA World Factbook
This page was last updated on July 9, 2017