Dhaka, Bangladesh (BBN)- Import orders for apparel industry machinery declined by 24.52 percent in the first four months of the current fiscal year (FY) due to the economic turmoil in Europe and the United States, officials said on Sunday.

Letters of Credit (LCs) worth US$ 104.10 million were opened to import the machinery for readymade garment (RMG) factories during the July-October period in FY `12 against $137.92 million in the same period of the previous fiscal, according to the central bank statistics.

Actual import of the RMG machinery dropped by a meagre 1.93 percent to $120.64 million during the period compared to $123.01 million in the corresponding period of FY`11.

“The import orders for capital machinery related to the apparel industry fell drastically during the period under review following the economic turmoil in the euro zone and the US that has created a climate of uncertainty in the country’s key export earning sector,” a senior official of the Bangladesh Bank (BB), the country’s central bank, told BBN in Dhaka.

He also said the central bank is watching the latest developments in the US and Europe’s economies closely.

BBN/SSR/AD-05Dec11-12:33 am (BST)