Trade deficit soars to $6.58b in 9 months as exports fallStaff Correspondent
The country’s trade deficit soared to $6.58 billion in the first nine months of the current financial year because of a rapid decline in export.
The trade deficit in July-March of this financial year was 13.04 per cent higher than that of the same period of the previous year when the trade gap was $5.82 billion, according to the latest data of Bangladesh Bank.
Although the government managed to bring down the import growth to 11.13 per cent in July-March of this financial year from over 35 per cent during the same period of the last financial year, the dwindling export growth resulted in higher trade deficit, said central bank officials.
Growth in export earnings in the first nine months of the current financial year came down to only 10.44 per cent from around 40 per cent growth in the corresponding period last financial year because of economic crisis in Europe.
BB data showed that the country’s import payments surged to $24.26 billion against exports worth $17.68 billion in July-March in the FY2011-12.
A BB official told New Age on Wednesday that the trade deficit had widened in the period due to the declining trend of export growth.
Import of food grains, raw materials and capital machinery dropped but that of petroleum marked a sharp rise in the first nine months, he said.
According to BB data released in the previous week, petroleum import increased by 53.39 per cent in the first nine months of the current financial year. The growth of the import of the product was 42.98 per cent during the same period last financial year.
LC opening for petroleum import soared by 75.93 per cent in the first nine months of this financial year against a 20.48-per cent growth during the same period last financial year.
The country’s current account balance in the period also declined by 22.18 per cent compared to that of the same period of last financial year.
The current account balance or the difference between the country’s savings and investment in July-March of FY2011-12 stood at $456 million, down by 22.18 per cent from $586 million in the same period of FY2010-11.
Despite a double digit growth in remittance in the first nine months, the current account balance decreased because of a lower growth in the foreign direct investment into the country.
BB data showed that the FDI in July-March stood at $551 million, 3.50 per cent lower than the $571 million in the corresponding period of the previous financial year.
Moreover, foreign loans and grants also diminished significantly in recent times, hampering current account balance, officials said.
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