Zim trade deficit narrows by 5% in first half

Zim trade deficit narrows by 5% in first half
Published: 01 August 2017
ZIMBABWE'S trade deficit in the first half of the year narrowed by 5% to $1,3 billion, an indication that the country continues to rely on foreign-produced goods in spite of government efforts to halt the tide, latest trade data from the national statistics agency shows.

In the same period last year, the trade deficit was $1,4 billion.

Information released by the Zimbabwe National Statistics Agency yesterday showed that imports to June amounted to $2,6 billion against $1,3 billion exports, which remain heavily skewed towards consumptive products.

In the same period last year, the country's imports were $2,5 billion against exports of $1,1 billion.

Most of the imports in the first half of 2017 were consumptive products such as rice, bottled water, sugar, soap, mobile phone handsets, electronics, vehicle spares, vehicles, generators and second-hand vehicles.

The exports in the period under review included beef, tobacco and other agricultural produce, as well as wines, minerals and scrap metal.

Exports in the period under review included semi-manufactured gold $394 million, tobacco ($251m), nickel ore concentrates ($171m) and ferro-chromium ($163m).

Presenting his 2017 budget review, Finance minister Patrick Chinamasa projected that imports would be at $5,4 billion versus exports of $3,9 billion by the end of the year.

He, however, noted that there was a general improvement in the current account which was largely attributed to import substitution, coupled with import compression measures introduced by the government in 2016 as well as the low uptake of intermediate imports due to the slowdown in the manufacturing sector.

Chinamasa said it was incumbent upon the country to create an environment that was conducive for economic growth.
- newsday
Tags: Trade, Deficit,

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