Of the total export earnings during the period, readymade garment exports fell 2.56% to $23.48 billion
The country’s trade deficit widened by 20.02% in the first nine months of the current fiscal year as import payments rose but export earnings stagnated, indicating a sluggish economy.
The deficit stood at $14.49 billion during the July-March period of the 2020-21 fiscal year, up from $12.07 billion in the same period of the previous fiscal year, according to the data from the Bangladesh Bank.
Import growth rose by 6.04% to $42.76 billion in the July-March period from $40.33 billion in the previous fiscal year, as per central bank data.
Export growth rose by only 0.06% to $28.27 billion in the nine-month period from $28.25 billion in the same period of the previous fiscal year.
Also read - Imports decline due to Covid-19
Of the total export earnings during the period, readymade garment exports fell 2.56% to $23.48 billion.
The signs are not good for the economy as the volume of exports and imports has been declining alarmingly since last year, according to the experts.
But the country’s economy started to recover from the lacklustre situation created by the deadly virus since December, which has been reflected in the import growth, they added.
“Now, the country’s economy and businesses are going to face a disaster owing to the second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic,” said Zahid Hussain, former lead economist of the World Bank Dhaka office.
“If we are not able to control the infection rate of Covid-19, it will be a big concern for our country’s trade and economy,” he added.
Also read - Trade deficit widens as import slightly rises
The economist said that the foreign investors would not be confident about investing if Bangladesh fails to manage the ongoing coronavirus situation properly or vaccinate 100% of its people.
The current account surplus stood at $125 million, which was a $2.65 billion deficit in the same period of the last fiscal year, Bangladesh Bank data showed. The surplus was $1.36 billion a month ago.
The country’s net foreign direct investments (FDI) dropped 7.96% during the period.
Central bank data also showed that Bangladesh attained $948 million net FDI in the nine months of the ongoing fiscal year against $1.03 billion a year earlier.