Published:  02:44 AM, 17 May 2018

Highest ever trade deficit shakes economy


Extensively high import costs have plunged Bangladesh into 13 billion dollars trade deficit crossing all previous records.

Bangladesh Bank's updated report unveiled on Tuesday shows that the total deficit in trade and commerce from July to March during 2017 to 2018 fiscal year has amounted to 1 thousand 320 crore 20 lakh dollars.

This sum has doubled compared to trade deficit during the same period in 2016--2017 fiscal year. During entire 2016--2017 fiscal year, trade deficit was 1 thousand 173 crore 20 lakh dollars.

Deficit has increased in service trade too. From July to March during 2017--2018 service trade deficit reached 333 crore 60 lakh dollars whereas it was 246 crore 80 lakh dollars during the same period in last fiscal year.

Economists have expressed concern over the unrestrained rise in trade deficit. It poses serious threats for Bangladesh's economy, sources from financial wings have informed. Eminent scholars have blamed continuous money laundering and banking anomalies as one of the major reasons behind escalating trade deficit.

Surplus has reached 605 crore 50 lakh dollars which was 313 crore 90 lakh dollars during July to March in last fiscal year.

Trade deficit has heavily affected foreign transactions too. Deficit in foreign transactions has amounted to 708 crore 30 lakh dollars during nine months of 2017--2018 fiscal year. From July to March 2016--2017 foreign transaction deficit was 137 crore 20 lakh dollars.

Reportedly import costs have increased so tremendously because of purchasing expensive materials from abroad for some ongoing infrastructural projects.

Under these circumstances economic analysts have urged the regulatory authorities to exercise broader surveillance on all banks and financial institutions to control trade deficit. At the same time it is vital to reassess the expenditures of some projects which have become too costly, financial experts have remarked.



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