Z’bar records surplus of 32bn/-

The difference between Zanzibar’s savings and its investment (current account) improved significantly to record a surplus of $19.9 million (Sh31.8 billion) during the year to September 2013, thanks to enhanced earnings from tourism.

During the year ending September 2012, the Indian Ocean archipelago had a $63.3 million current account deficit, according to the Bank of Tanzania’s (BoT) Monthly Economic Review for October 2013.

Basically, an improved current account balance indicates that the nation is a net lender to the rest of the world. It means for instance that Zanzibar can borrow more than the rest of the world as its books of payment allow it to do so.

“This improvement was mainly associated with an increase in receipts from tourism related activities and current transfer inflows coupled with a decline in service payments,” says the BoT.

The increase in tourism receipts saved Zanzibar’s economy from a massive drop in earnings from exports of cloves – the main export crop in the Isles.

With a decline in clove exports, Zanzibar’s export of goods and services dropped to $176.4 million during the year ending September 2013 from $196.6 million recorded in the same period a year before.

Cloves worth $2.1 million were exported during the year to September 2013 – a 60.2 per cent drop from $4.3 million exported during the preceding year. This, according to the BoT was due to a 51.8 and 2.5 per cent drop in export volumes and unit price respectively.

“The fall in the volume of cloves exported was due to cyclical nature of the crop, while export prices declined on account of supply factors.”

Imports of goods and services declined by 32.0 per cent to $195.8 million in the year ending September 2013, from $290.1 million recorded in the corresponding period in 2012.

According to the report goods imports declined to $154.6 million from $192.5 million recorded during the year ending September 2012 mainly driven by capital goods.

During the year ending September 2013, services account recorded a surplus of $97.7 million, compared with a surplus of $30.9 million recorded in the corresponding period in 2012.
Source: The Citizen, reported by Veneranda Sumila from Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
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