Vol. 5 Num 926 Sat. January 06, 2007  

Nepal's trade deficitcontinues to widen

Nepal's trade deficit continues to widen during the first four months of the current fiscal year, local newspaper The Himalayan Times reported Friday.

Nepali central bank, Nepal Rastra Bank in its report of current macroeconomic situation released on Thursday said, due to a higher growth of imports, this country's trade deficit crossed 41.25 billion rupees (about 580 million US dollars) in the first four months of 2006/2007.

Nepal's total exports declined by 0.1 percent in contrast to an increase of 14.5 percent in 2005/2006. Total exports value stood at 20.84 billion rupees (about 290 million US dollars).

Of the total exports, export to India declined by 1.1 percent during the period as against a significant growth of 29.4 percent in 2005/2006.

Total imports bill crossed 62.09 billion rupees (about 875 million US dollars) with imports from Indian contributing 38.29 billion rupees.

The growth in total imports accelerated to 9.9 percent during the period compared to a growth of 21.1 percent in the previous year.

While the rate of increase in imports from India decelerated to 7.8 percent in the review period and imports from other countries surged by 13.4 percent in comparison to a growth of 4.3 percent last year.

In comparison to mid-July 2006, gross foreign exchange reserves fell slightly by 0.4 percent to 164.44 billion rupees (about 2.32 billion US dollars) at mid-November 2006 owing to the appreciation of the Nepali rupee against the US dollar. The reserves had risen by 7.2 percent in the corresponding period of the preceding year.