Trade deficit narrows by 8.9pc
Kathmandu, December 18
The country’s exports surged by 23.9 per cent in the first quadrimester of 2019-20 fiscal year, while imports fell by 6.9 per cent, as per the Nepal Rastra Bank (NRB).
As per ‘Current Macroeconomic and Financial Situation of Nepal’ report of the first four months of the current fiscal unveiled by the central bank today, Nepal exported merchandise goods worth Rs 36.28 billion compared to an increase of 11 per cent a year ago.
Similarly, merchandise imports decreased to Rs 450.3 billion against an increase of 35.8 per cent in the same period of the previous year.
While the exports of palm oil, cardamom, yarn (polyester and other), jute goods, medicine (ayurvedic), among others, has increased in the review period, imports of MS billet, petroleum products, gold, aircraft spare parts, cement, among others, decreased in the review period.
Due to rise in exports and fall in imports, Nepal’s trade deficit narrowed by 8.9 per cent to Rs 414.02 billion in the four months of 2019-20.
Such deficit had expanded by 37.8 per cent in the same period of the previous year.
The NRB report shows that balance of payments (BoP) remained at a surplus of Rs 27.29 billion in the review period against a deficit of Rs 57.33 billion in the same period of last fiscal.
However, the current account registered a deficit of Rs 37.3 billion in the review period against a deficit of Rs 88.43 billion in the same period of previous year.
As per NRB, the number of Nepali workers (institutional and individual — new and legalised) that migrated for foreign employment increased by 5.6 per cent in the review period. The number had plunged by 39.4 per cent in the same period of the previous year.
However, despite the rise in outflow of Nepali migrant workers, remittance inflow slipped by 2.3 per cent to Rs 304.96 billion in the review period against an increase of 36.4 per cent in the same period of the previous year.
Meanwhile, the year-on-year consumer price inflation stood at 5.76 per cent in mid-November compared to 4.15 per cent a year ago.
Food and beverage inflation stood at 7.96 per cent whereas non-food and service inflation stood at 4.07 per cent in the review month.
“Within the food and beverage group, prices of vegetables, fruits, meat and fish and spices sub-groups rose significantly, while prices of housing and utilities, clothes and footwear and education subgroups within the non-food and service group rose moderately in the review month,” reads the report.