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Tonga Economy Profile 2018

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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 health care 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)$587 million (2017 est.)
$569.6 million (2016 est.)
$552.7 million (2015 est.)
note: data are in 2017 dollars
GDP (official exchange rate)$437 million (2016 est.)
GDP - real growth rate3.1% (2017 est.)
3.1% (2016 est.)
3.5% (2015 est.)
GDP - per capita (PPP)$5,600 (2017 est.)
$5,500 (2016 est.)
$5,300 (2015 est.)
note: data are in 2017 dollars
GDP - composition, by end usehousehold consumption: 99.2%
government consumption: 20%
investment in fixed capital: 26.3%
investment in inventories: -2.7%
exports of goods and services: 18.7%
imports of goods and services: -61.5% (2017 est.)
GDP - composition by sectoragriculture: 19.5%
industry: 20.8%
services: 59.8% (2017 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: $134.6 million
expenditures: $134.6 million (2017 est.)
Taxes and other revenues30.8% of GDP (2017 est.)
Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-)0% of GDP (2017 est.)
Public debt45.1% of GDP (2013)
46.5% of GDP (2012)
Inflation rate (consumer prices)7.5% (2017 est.)
2.6% (2016 est.)
Commercial bank prime lending rate8.1% (31 December 2017 est.)
7.9% (31 December 2016 est.)
Stock of narrow money$137.7 million (31 December 2017 est.)
$112.8 million (31 December 2016 est.)
Stock of broad money$263.9 million (31 December 2017 est.)
$227.7 million (31 December 2016 est.)
Stock of domestic credit$166.7 million (31 December 2017 est.)
$135.2 million (31 December 2016 est.)
Market value of publicly traded shares$NA
Agriculture - productssquash, coconuts, copra, bananas, vanilla beans, cocoa, coffee, sweet potatoes, cassava, taro and kava
Industriestourism, construction, fishing
Industrial production growth rate5% (2017 est.)
Current Account Balance-$59 million (2017 est.)
-$53 million (2016 est.)
Exports$18.2 million (2017 est.)
$19.4 million (2016 est.)
Exports - commoditiessquash, fish, vanilla beans, root crops
Exports - partnersHong Kong 25.6%, Japan 15.1%, NZ 14.3%, US 13.5%, Australia 10%, Philippines 9.4% (2016)
Imports$320.7 million (2017 est.)
$266.6 million (2016 est.)
Imports - commoditiesfoodstuffs, machinery and transport equipment, fuels, chemicals
Imports - partnersNZ 35.3%, Fiji 12.1%, Singapore 9.3%, China 8.4%, US 8%, Australia 7.6%, Japan 4.3% (2016)
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold$131.9 million (31 December 2017 est.)
$176.5 million (31 December 2016 est.)
Debt - external$233.5 million (31 December 2017 est.)
$198.2 million (31 December 2016 est.)
Stock of direct foreign investment - at home$127.2 million (31 December 2017 est.)
$117.2 million (31 December 2016 est.)
Exchange ratespa'anga (TOP) per US dollar -
2.228 (2017 est.)
2.216 (2016 est.)
2.216 (2015 est.)
2.106 (2014 est.)
1.847 (2013 est.)
Fiscal year1 July - 30 June

Source: CIA World Factbook
This page was last updated on January 20, 2018