BoP surplus declines

10 May 2014

Bangladesh's balance of payment surplus has declined with increasing imports.
According to central bank statistics released on Thursday, the surplus stood at $1.517 billion at the end of March this year against $2.02 billion at February-end.
The surplus was $2.601 billion at the end of March last year and 2.525 at June-end.
Bangladesh Bank data show the country imported goods worth $9.77 billion in the first nine months of the current fiscal year that began on July 1. The figure was 17 percent more than the imports in the same previous period.
In March alone, Bangladesh's import stood at record $3.76 billion, a 54.47 percent rise over the previous corresponding period. Economist Zaid Bakth, however, said the import increase had 'nothing to be optimistic' about.
He said: "The increase in imports is not contributing to growth in investment and industries that much. Basically, import expenditure is rising because of increasing food (rice and wheat) import. Bakth, Research Director at the Bangladesh Institute of Development Studies (BIDS), said overseas purchase of 3G equipment had pushed up machinery import expenditure.
He said Bangladesh had cleared record import payments recently to the Asian Clearing Union (ACU), resulting in a drop in the balance of payment surplus.
The economist expects investors to regain confidence in the economy if the 'present stability lasts'.
"In such a situation, the surplus (this FY) may not be as large as it was in the previous FY," he said.
According to the central bank, Bangladesh saw a deficit of $447 million in the balance of payment in the 2011-12 FY.
Bangladesh Bank settled import payments of $1.17 billion to ACU on Thursday.

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