Business loans and housing mortgages continued to increase

Centrale Bank of Aruba

Summary of the Monthly Bulletin of March 2019

Monetary developments
Compared to February 2019, money supply expanded in March 2019 by Afl. 59.0 million to Afl. 4,406.1 million, due to an increase in net domestic assets of Afl. 80.6 million, which was partly offset by a decrease in net foreign assets of Afl. 21.6 million.

The upsurge in the domestic component of the money supply was due to increases in domestic credit and non-credit related balance sheet items of Afl. 77.2 million and Afl. 3.4 million, respectively. The expansion in domestic credit resulted from rises in the net claims of the banking sector on the public sector and the claims of the banking sector on the private sector of Afl. 36.3 million and Afl. 40.9 million, respectively. The upturn in net claims of the banking sector on the public sector resulted from declines in government deposits of Afl. 60.9 million and in gross claims of Afl. 24.7 million. Claims of the banking sector on the private sector expanded, due to higher business loans (+Afl. 33.2 million), housing mortgages (+Afl. 5.1 million), and consumer credits (+Afl. 2.6 million).

The Afl. 21.6 million decrease in the net foreign assets of the banking sector resulted from net sales of foreign exchange of Afl. 260.9 million to the public, mostly related to payments for goods, other investment, other services and net transfers to foreign accounts. These were largely offset by net purchases of foreign exchange of Afl. 239.3 million from the public mainly associated with foreign exchange revenue from tourism exports.

Inflation
The consumer price index (CPI) for March 2019 noted a 4.0 percent increase year-over-year (YOY). The main contributors to this rise were the components “Food and Non-Alcoholic Beverages” and “Communication”. Furthermore, by excluding the effect of food and energy, the core CPI grew by 2.2 percent (YOY). The 12-month average inflation rate was 4.1 percent in March 2019, compared to 4.0 percent in February 2019.

Government
Total government revenue amounted to Afl. 83.5 million in March 2019, Afl. 10.1 million less than the same month of the previous year. This outcome resulted from decreases in both nontax revenue and tax revenue of Afl. 7.6 million and Afl. 2.6 million, respectively. The reduction in tax revenue was associated mainly with declines in income from profit tax (-Afl. 5.4 million), transfer tax (-Afl. 3.6 million) and foreign exchange tax (-Afl. 2.2 million). These downturns were largely offset by increases in income from turnover tax (+Afl. 7.0 million; introduction of the B.A.V.P as opposed to the same month in 2018), and income tax (+Afl. 2.4 million).

Tourism
Please note that figures on tourism were not yet available at the time of publication of this bulletin.

By the Centrale Bank van Aruba