Tonga - Money

The value of the pa'anga against the U.S. dollar has halved over the past 2 decades, from 0.9859 to the U.S. dollar in 1982 to 1.997 in February 2001. Much of this devaluation took place during the early 1980s, and then again in the late 1990s. During the 1980s, the export value

Trade (expressed in billions of US$): Tonga
Exports Imports
1975 .006 .017
1980 .007 .038
1985 .005 .041
1990 .011 .062
1995 .014 .077
1998 N/A N/A
SOURCE: International Monetary Fund. International Financial Statistics Yearbook 1999.

Exchange rates: Tonga
pa'anga (T$) per US$1
Jan 2001 1.9885
2000 1.7585
1999 1.5991
1998 1.4920
1997 1.2635
1996 1.2323
SOURCE: CIA World Factbook 2001 [ONLINE].

of coconut products and vanilla declined, and remittance income fluctuated, causing an impact on the currency. In the late 1990s and early 2000s a further serious devaluation occurred, and this may be partly attributed to the strong American dollar against the currencies of the Pacific region, including the New Zealand and Australian dollars, which are part of a number of currencies to which the pa'anga is linked.

The National Reserve Bank of Tonga (NRBT) has several functions. One of these is to stabilize the Tongan currency. This is only possible, though, within the network of the other currencies to which the pa'anga is linked. The NRBT also monitors the economy by maintaining databases and providing advice on government spending and revenue, the supply of money, interest rates, and the trade balance.

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