Dhaka, Bangladesh (BBN) – Bangladesh’s overall trade deficit decreased slightly in February following higher export growth than import payments, officials said on Thursday.
The overall trade deficit came down to US$4.06 billion during the July-February period of the current fiscal year (FY), 2015-16, from $4.07 billion during the same period of the previous fiscal, according to the central bank’s latest statistics.
Talking to BBN, a senior official of the Bangladesh Bank (BB), the country’s central bank, said the trade gap may shrink further in the coming months, as the export earnings are picking up gradually.
“We expect that the overall export growth will reach 10 per cent by the end of this fiscal,” he noted.
Bangladesh’s overall export earnings, including those of the export processing zones (EPZs), grew by 7.81 per cent to $21.58 billion during the July-January period of FY 16 from $20.01 billion during the same period of FY 15. The import payments rose to $25.63 billion from $24.08 billion, the BB data showed.
The central banker said the overall imports decreased in terms of value and not in terms of quantity mainly due to lower prices of commodities, including petroleum products, in the international market.
On the other hand, current account balance rose to $2.71 billion in the July-February period of FY 16 from $2.20 billion in the same period of FY 15.
The central banker also said the increasing trend of current account balance has continued in the recent months despite the falling trend in inward remittances.
The flow of inward remittances fell by 2.02 per cent to $9.63 billion in the July-February period of FY 16 from $ 9.84 billion in the same period of the last fiscal.
The BB official said the flow of inward remittances rebounded in March after a falling trend in the recent months mainly due to seasonal effect. “We expect that the upward trend of inward remittance may continue till the end of June as seasonal effect.”
However, the country’ fiscal account increased by more than 71 per cent to $905 million in the first eight months of this fiscal from $528 million during the same period of last fiscal.
Bangladesh’s overall balance of payments (BoP) rose to $3.15 billion during the period under review from $2.22 billion in the same period of the previous fiscal.