17 Jun 2020

Tonga reserve bank releases bleak economic forecast

11:27 am on 17 June 2020

Tonga's reserve bank is forecasting an economic downturn that could last well into next year.

In an economic review, the central bank said the Covid-19 pandemic and Cyclone Harold had battered the economy.

The Reserve Bank said domestic activity had already been reduced by the Covid lockdown, and then Cyclone Winston amplified the downturn.

Primary production slowed by more than 28 percent in April, while marine exports declined by 81 percent.

Both the lockdown, and the damage done by the cyclone to resorts, had seen tourism activity plummet to nothing.

However, the reserve bank said foreign reserves and the banking system were still healthy.

But the effects could be long-lasting, with the possibility an economic downturn might last until next year.


Photo: 123rf

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