Trade deficit widens 5.6pc in July-Oct

Staff Correspondent | Published at 12:00am on December 11, 2019

The country’s trade deficit in the July-October period of the current fiscal year (2019-20) increased by 5.58 per cent or $297 million year-on-year amid a slowdown in export and import.

According to the Bangladesh Bank data released on Tuesday, trade deficit increased to $5.62 billion in the July-October period of FY20 from $5.32 billion in the same period of FY 2018-19.

Although the trade deficit dropped in the first three months (July-September) of the current fiscal year, a drop in import spending in the four months July-October) was overshadowed by a higher fall in export earnings in the period, BB officials said.

The fall both in export and import at the same time indicated a slowdown in the country’s economy, they said.

A slowdown in the global economy in recent months also contributed to the fall in the country’s export earnings, the officials said.

In July-October this year, imports fell by 3.17 per cent to $18.14 billion from $18.73 billion in the same period last year.

The current account deficit, however, dropped by 36.88 per cent, or $762 million, to $1.3 billion in July-October of FY20 from $2.07 billion in the same period of FY19.

The country’s overall deficit also dropped to $229 million in the first four months of FY20 against $444 million in the same period of last fiscal year.

The BB data also showed that the country attained $881 million in net foreign direct investment in July-October of this fiscal year against $841 million in the same period of last fiscal year.

The net portfolio investment, meant for the investment in the country’s capital market, increased to $32 million from $27 million.

Despite the increase in trade deficit, the country’s gross reserve stood at $32.44 billion at the end of October from $32.08 billion a year ago.