Export growth contracted by 17.10% to $32.83 billion in FY20 from $39.60 billion in the previous fiscal year
The country’s trade deficit widened to $17.86 billion in the concluding fiscal year as export earnings fell more than import spending, indicating a sluggish trend in the economy owing to the global coronavirus pandemic.
The deficit rose by $2.02 billion or 12.79% year-on-year to $17.86 billion in the fiscal year of 2019-20 from $15.83 in the fiscal year of 2018-19, according to data available from Bangladesh Bank (BB).
Export growth contracted by 17.10% to $32.83 billion in FY20 from $39.60 billion in the previous fiscal year.
Import growth also dropped by 8.56% to $50.69 billion from $55.43 billion, as per the BB data.
The signs are not good for the economy as the volume of exports and imports has been declining alarmingly in the last few months, according to experts.
Current account deficit decreased 4.95% year-on-year to $4.84 billion in the concluding fiscal year, as per data.
The rising trend in trade deficit will continue in the coming days owing to the downward trend in export, said Zahid Hussain, former lead economist of the World Bank, Bangladesh.
He said that there was no possibility of a decrease in trade deficit in the coming days because import growth will rise when economic activities fully resume.
The declining trend of current account deficit will not be sustained in the near future, he added.
He noted that although the inflow of remittances had hit an all-time high, it was a bad signal for the times ahead.
He explained that many Bangladeshi migrants were sending money home as part of their preparations to return home due to their joblessness.
The inflow of remittances hit an all-time high in July ahead of Eid-ul-Azha, with expatriates sending home $1.96 billion in remittances in the first 23 days of the month, as per BB data.
The country's overall balance rose to $3.65 billion in the FY20, against $179 million in the previous fiscal, BB data said.