Current account deficit widens

Finance Minister Dr William Mgima
The current account deficit widened almost twofold to US$ 4.296 billion in June from $2.258 billion in June 2011, despite an increase in gold exports by 30 per cent, the central bank said.

The monthly economic review report for July released by the Bank of  Tanzania yesterday said the widening of the deficit was due to an increase in imports of oil and a decline in inflow of aid. 

Gold exports increased to $2.3 billion in the year ending June from $1.8 billion last June mainly on account of an increase in prices of gold at the world market, which rose by 21.9 per cent to $1,671 per troy ounce.

“The volume of gold exports also went up to 38.4 tonnes in June from 37.4 tonnes recorded during the year ending June 2011,” the BoT review said.

Gold sales helped increase the country’s exports of goods and services by 14 per cent to $7.99 billion compared to $7.050 billion recorded during the year ending June 2011.

However, imports rose by 30 per cent to $12.958 billion in June. Exports of goods reached $4.869 billion with non-traditional exports taking the largest share of exports buoyed by gold at $4.108 billion. 

Traditional goods exports value was $761.1 million in the period under review being 9.2 per cent higher than exports value of similar period last year.

“This development was mainly attributed to an increase in both export volumes and prices of cotton, tea, cloves and cashewnuts. Exports value of tobacco declined by 5.9 per cent to $271.9 million mainly due to decrease in the world market prices,” the report said. 

On the other hand services receipt was $2.390 billion in June compared to $2.154 billion recorded in the corresponding period of 2011. Travel and transportation receipts recorded most of the increase, according to the central bank.

The improvement in travel receipts was largely attributed to an increase in number of tourist arrivals to 860,718 compared to 834,801 in the year ending June 2011.
Source: The Citizen, 
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