NewsEast & Horn AfricaTanzania current account deficit narrows by 57%

Wed,22Nov2017

Posted on Thursday, 02 February 2017 10:43

Tanzania current account deficit narrows by 57%

By Reuters

Mount Kilimanjaro is one of Tanzania's most popular tourism destinations. Photo: Khaled Kazziha/AP/SIPATanzania's current account deficit narrowed by 56.6% in the year to November, helped by a surge in earnings from tourism and gold exports and a decline in imports, its central bank said on Thursday.

 

The gap narrowed to $1.95bn in the 12 months to November from $4.49bn in the same period in 2015, the Bank of Tanzania said in its latest monthly economic report.

The bank said overall balance of payments swung into a surplus of $246.6m from a deficit of $95.2m in the year ending November 2015.

Imports of goods and services fell 15.8% to $10.257bn due to a decline in capital and consumer goods purchases, while total exports rose to $9.426bn from $8.855bn previously, the bank said.

Oil, which dominates the goods import bill, went up by 7.8% to $3.08bn due to an increase in demand.

Earnings from tourism, the main foreign exchange source, rose to $2.21bn from $2.01bn previously, buoyed by more visitor arrivals.

Gold, the other main source of foreign income, brought in $1.44bn, up from $1.17bn previously, reflecting higher export volumes and global prices.

Tanzania, which has a population of around 50 million, is Africa's fourth-largest gold producer after South Africa, Ghana and Mali.

The value of traditional exports rose by 21.2% to $943.3m, driven by increased output and higher prices of tobacco, cashew nuts, cotton and tea.

Gross official foreign exchange reserves held by the central bank reached $4.25bn in the year to November, or about four months of import cover.



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