$5b trade deficit in seven monthsStaff Correspondent
The country’s trade deficit soared by 17.80 per cent to $5.02 billion in the first seven months of the current financial year compared to the same period of the FY2010-11, putting pressure on foreign exchange reserve.
The current account balance in the corresponding period also declined by 43.31 per cent year on year but the balance continued to remain in positive zone for the sake of higher remittance growth in January.
According to Bangladesh Bank data released on Monday, the country’s imports payment surged to $19.04 billion against exports worth $14.01 billion in July-January in the current FY2011-12.
BB data showed that imports grew by 15.51 per cent and exports by 14.71 per cent in July-January compared to the same period of last financial year.
The total trade gap was $4.26 billion in July-January in FY2010-11 whereas the trade gap in the first seven months of the current financial year stood at $ 5.02 billion.
A BB official said that despite the fall in import of food grains, luxurious products, capital machinery and industrial raw materials in the first seven months of the current financial year, the trade gap soared mainly due to continuing huge import of fuel oils by the government for running the costly rental power plants.
He said that the country’s export growth, which was around 40 per cent in July-January in the FY 2010-2011, also came down to only 14.71 per cent.
The trade gap has made a negative impact on the country’s forex reserve which tumbled to $9.12 billion from the $10 billion-mark after import bills payment to the Asian Clearing Union last week, he said.
The forex reserve which hit a record $11.32 billion in March 2011 continued to remain lower due to the higher import bills payment by the government, the official said.
The current account balance or the difference between the country’s saving and its investment in July-January of FY2011-12 came down to $462 million, or declined by 43.31 per cent, from that of $815 million in the same period of FY2010-11.
Another BB official said that the monetary policy statement for January-June in 2012 had projected that the current account balance might stand at a negative of $243 million at the end of the current financial year.
The balance, however, continued to remain in positive zone because of higher remittance growth in January, he said.
The official said the balance in July-November had entered in negative terrain for the first time in the current financial year. However, it had managed a positive condition later.
He said that expatriate Bangladeshis in January 2012 had sent $1.21 billion to their relatives, which was 25.27 per cent over the total remittance inflow in January 2011.
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