Economic Update
Published on 01 November 2020
R
Tourist arrivals
35.8
thousand tourists
for November 2020
In November 2020, tourist arrivals declined annually by 74%, however, an increase of 66% was recorded in monthly terms. Although the total tourist arrivals continue to register declines in annual terms, the numbers have been improving gradually since the border reopened in July 2020. During November 2020, the most number of tourist arrivals were recorded from the European market.
R
Inflation
Measured by the annual percentage change in Consumer Price Index at the national level
-0.9
percent
as at November 2020
The rate of inflation, as measured by the annual percentage change in the national CPI, continued to remain negative in November 2020 but edged up to -0.9% in November 2020 from -1.1% in October 2020, mainly reflecting the increase in transport prices. Further, the upward pressure on annual inflation continued to be exerted by the increase in price of tobacco products and food items. During the month, the largest increase was observed in the price of tobacco, following the ratification of the 17th amendment to Import Export Act in July 2020 imposing additional duties on specific tobacco products. However, prices continued to fall for information and communication services; and housing rent, following the reduction in telecommunication prices and temporary relief given on housing rent due to COVID-19, respectively.
R
Fish exports
3.5
thousand metric tonne
for November 2020
Volume of fish exports observed both an annual and monthly decline of 51% and 62% respectively during November 2020. This was mainly due to the significant decrease in fresh, chilled or frozen tuna exports.
M
Broad money
Entire stock of currency and various types of deposits held by the public at depository institutions in an economy
38.4
billion rufiyaa
as at November 2020
Annual broad money (M2) growth further decelerated to 8% at the end of November 2020, after registering 9% during the previous month. This was primarily driven by an increase in narrow money, which mainly reflected a rise in transferable deposits. Meanwhile, quasi money observed a decrease owing to a decline in foreign currency transferable deposits, together with a marginal decrease in time deposits denominated in foreign currency. This was despite increases in time and savings deposits denominated in local currency and savings deposits denominated in foreign currency.
M
Credit To Private Sector
26.7
billion rufiyaa
as at November 2020
The annual growth of credit to the private sector by commercial banks accelerated to 10% at the end of November 2020, after recording 7% at the end October 2020. Similarly, the monthly growth in credit to the private sector increased modestly, recording 1.2% in November 2020. The largest increase was observed for credit extended to tourism sector, registering an annual growth of 18% during November 2020, mainly driven by the significant growth in credit in the form of working capital, followed by credit lent for new resort development and renovation of resorts.
M
Overnight deposit facility
3.8
billion rufiyaa
as at November 2020
During November 2020, average Overnight Deposit Facility (ODF) placements remained at MVR 3.8 billion. This marked a growth of MVR 0.95 billion (33%) in annual terms, largely reflecting the increase in local currency liquidity due to monetization.
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Official reserve assets
National reserve of the country
984.8
million US dollar
as at December 2020
Official reserve assets increased to US$984.8 million at the end of December 2020 from US$629.9 million at the end of November 2020. This was an increase of 56% and 31% when compared with November 2020 and December 2019, respectively.
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Imports
Total import of goods, valued including the cost of insurance and freight. This does not include the import of services.
135.1
million US dollar
for November 2020
Total imports (c.i.f) observed an annual decline of 49% during the period while an increase of 2% was recorded in monthly terms. For the annual decline in total imports, the most significant decreases were observed in the imports of transport equipment and parts; construction related items; petroleum products; and food items, although the decline was broad-based across all major import categories. In contrast, import of medical and surgical supplies observed a growth during the review month.
E
Exports
Total export of goods, valued using the freight on board basis. This does not include the export of services.
18.1
million US dollar
for November 2020
Total exports (f.o.b) declined by 13% and 45% in November 2020 when compared with October 2020 and November 2019 respectively. The annual decline in total exports stemmed from both the decrease in re-exports and domestic exports. The decrease in domestic exports was primarily due to the sizeable decrease in export earnings from frozen yellowfin tuna and frozen skipjack tuna, despite the increase in canned or pouched tuna as well as fresh or chilled yellowfin tuna.