Thursday, June 21, 2012

Trade deficit balloons

Trade deficit has ballooned by Rs 37.52 billion in a month to Rs 322.12 billion, according to the central bank.
"The total trade deficit during the 10 months went up by 19.7 per cent to Rs 322.12 billion," it said, adding that the total trade deficit during nine months was Rs 284.6 billion.
Merchandise exports rose by 16.4 per cent to Rs 60.90 billion during the 10 months as compared to Rs 52.33 billion in the same period last fiscal year, whereas merchandise imports increased by 19.2 per cent to Rs 383.02 billion against Rs 321.34 billion during the 10 months of the last fiscal year, Nepal Rastra Bank's data revealed.
Similarly, trade deficit with India increased by 14.4 per cent as compared to a growth of 27.5 per cent during the same period of last fiscal year, whereas trade deficit with other countries increased by 30.7 per cent in contrast to a drop by 22.8 per cent during the same period a fiscal year ago, the central bank said.
Lack of political and policy stability and prolonged hours of power crisis hit exporters hard pulling exports down and de-industrialising the country in the last one decade.
Similarly, erosion of the country's competitive strength due to high cost of production, transportation and labour also led to low exports that stood at Rs 60.90 billion, which is not enough to pay for the single import bill of petroleum products that stood at Rs 77.07 billion in the 10 months of the current fiscal year.
However, workers' remittance surged by 36.5 per cent to Rs 282.02 billion as compared to a growth of 10.8 per cent during the same period of last fiscal year due to the increasing outflow of Nepali migrant workers and rise in the price of the dollar against the rupee.
Similarly, overall Balance of Payment (BoP) registered its highest ever surplus of Rs 100.10 billion as compared to a deficit of Rs 12.32 billion during the 10 months of the last fiscal year.

Inflation starts looking up
KATHMANDU: The regular increase in petroleum prices has started showing its impact as prices have started looking upwards, though the central bank has been rejecting the impact of the hike in petroleum prices on inflation. "The year-on-year inflation as measured by the consumer price index increased by 8.7 per cent in mid-May from 7.5 per cent in mid-April," the central bank data revealed, adding that the index of food and beverage group and non-food and services group increased by 7.1 per cent and 10.1 per cent respectively. These indices had increased by 16 per cent and 4.2 per cent respectively in the same period of last fiscal year. The central bank attributed the hike in prices to the adverse impact on supply arising from strikes and bandhs.


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