Bangladesh’s trade deficit has widened by more than 20 per cent in the first nine months of the current fiscal year (FY) because of rising import payment pressure on the economy, officials said.
The trade deficit with the rest of the world stood at $14.50 billion during the July-March period of FY21, which was $12.08 billion during the same period of the previous fiscal, according to the central bank's latest statistics.
Import payments have increased significantly in recent months mainly due to higher purchase of raw materials for readymade garments along with resumption of infrastructure development works across the country, the officials explained.
Import payments grew by 6.04 per cent to $42.77 billion during the period under review from $40.33 billion in the same period of FY’20.
On the other hand, export earnings increased by 0.06 per cent to $28.27 billion in the first nine months of FY'21 from $28.25 billion a year ago.
Such rising import payment obligations pushed down the current account surplus significantly despite higher growth of inward remittances, they added.
The current account surplus stood at only $125 million in the nine months of FY'21, which was a $2.65 billion deficit in the same period of the last fiscal year. Such surplus was $1.37 billion a month ago.