- The current account deficit narrowed to $1.81 billion in the year ending February 2017 compared with $3.57 billion recorded during the year ending February 2016, according to the Bank of Tanzania’s monthly economic review for March.
Dar es Salaam. Tanzania’s current account balance has narrowed by almost a half as importation of goods and services continues to decline.
The current account deficit narrowed to $1.81 billion in the year ending February 2017 compared with $3.57 billion recorded during the year ending February 2016, according to the Bank of Tanzania’s monthly economic review for March.
The improvement was on account of a 15 per cent decline in imports of goods and services, combined with a little increase in exports.
The annual export value of goods and services increased from $8.98 billion to $9.17 billion during the period while that of the imports decreased by 15 per cent to $10.37 billion.
Earnings from tourism - the leading foreign exchange earner – improved from $2.04 billion to $2.13 billion while gold shipment also improved from $1.16 billion to $1.46 billion due to recovery in price in the world market and increase in volume.
On the other hand, the value of traditional exports rose by 17.8 per cent to $896.7 million with much of the improvement coming from export of cashew nuts.
The price of cashew nuts increased to an all-time high of Sh4,000 per raw kilogramme during the 2016 harvesting season compared with Sh1,250 recorded during the 2015 harvesting season.
However, it was a sad story for the manufactured goods which fell to $1.0 billion from $1.32 billion.
“Manufactured goods that declined included edible oil, iron and steel products,” stated the BoT report.
The decline of imports was observed across all categories of goods import except for industrial raw materials.
A large decline was in imports of capital goods, oil (petroleum products), fertilizers, and food and food stuff.
The value of oil imports which accounts for the largest share in goods import, declined by 12.8 per cent to $2.42 billion due to a fall in prices in the world market as volume remained broadly unchanged.