This was highlighted in Central Bank’s External Sector Performance – November 2017 overview issued recently.
Although a double-digit growth in exports has been recorded, partly driven by the low base recorded in November 2016, the trade deficit expanded considerably during the month with higher imports. Meanwhile, workers’ remittances continued to decline, owing to adverse economic and geopolitical conditions prevailing in the Middle Eastern region.
Accordingly, the BOP recorded an overall surplus of around US dollars 2.0 billion by end November 2017. Gross official reserves also increased to US dollars 7.3 billion (equivalent to 4.2 months of imports) by end November 2017 from US dollars 6.0 billion recorded at end 2016.
Exports continued to record a double-digit growth for the fifth consecutive month in November 2017. However, this growth was partly driven by the low base recorded in November 2016.
Earnings from textiles and garments exports contributed largely for this growth. Export earnings from garments increased for the fifth consecutive month in November 2017 with increased demand from the EU and the USA and non-traditional markets such as Australia, Hong Kong and UAE.