November 2015 saw 90,218 tourists enter the country, a 14 per cent drop in monthly terms the Maldives Monetary Authority’s (MMA) Monthly Economic Review reveals. The month also witnessed a 4 per cent decline in bednights in annual terms, largely due to the decline in average duration of stay from 6.2 to 5.9 days. Partly reflecting this, the occupancy rate of the industry declined to 63 per cent, down from 68 per cent last November.
Meanwhile, fisheries statistics for November indicate a 19 per cent fall in the volume of fish exports in annual terms, with earnings on fish exports falling by 9 per cent. The annual decline in fish exports is mainly due to a fall in the volume and earnings on frozen yellowfin tuna exports.
The rate of inflation accelerated to 2 per cent at the end of November 2015 from 1.1 per cent in October. This was spurred by an increase in food prices, especially that of fish.
Gross international reserves registered a decline of 1 per cent in monthly terms and rose by 4 per cent in annual terms, standing at USD566.7 million at the end of November. Of this, usable reserves amounted to USD197.6 million.
Mirroring the movements of the US dollar during November 2015, the bilateral exchange rates of the rufiyaa appreciated in annual terms against the Singapore dollar, the Indian rupee, the Sri Lankan rupee, the sterling pound and the euro. As for the monthly changes, the rufiyaa appreciated against the Singapore dollar, the Sri Lankan rupee, the sterling pound and the euro, while it depreciated against the Indian rupee.
The International Monetary Fund commodity price index declined in both monthly and annual terms by 5 per cent and 34 per cent respectively in November. This was spurred by significant declines in food, metal and petroleum prices. The price of crude oil registered a low USD43.1 per barrel at the end of November.