Trade deficit in­creases to Rs. 217 bil­lion

People's Review - - FRONT PAGE - By Our Re­porter

Nepal’s trade deficit has in­creased alarm­ingly in the first month of the cur­rent fis­cal year. Ac­cord­ing to Nepal Ras­tra Bank, trade de­fecit reached Rs. 217 bil­lion by the sec­ond month of the cur­rent fis­cal year. Nom­i­nal ex­port com­pared to sig­nif­i­cant growth in im­port has led to the alarm­ing trade de­fecit. Ac­cord­ing to the An­nual For­eign Trade Statis­tic of the De­part­ment of Cus­toms, Nepal im­ported goods worth Rs. 232.34 bil­lion while ex­ported goods worth only of Rs. 14.69 bil­lion dur­ing the re­view pe­riod. Im­port rose by 42.59 per cent while ex­port in­creased only by 8.03 per cent. In the re­view pe­riod, the coun­try's for­eign trade has in­creased by 39.93 per cent to Rs. 247.04 bil­lion. Nepal's high­est trade deficit is with In­dia fol­lowed by China dur­ing the re­view pe­riod. In­dia has been the ma­jor trad­ing part­ner of Nepal. Nepal's trade deficit with In­dia has reached Rs. 137.89 bil­lion, with China Rs. 28.78 bil­lion and with France Rs. 12.78 bil­lion. Dur­ing the re­view pe­riod, Nepal im­ported goods worth Rs. 146.22 bil­lion from In­dia while it ex­ported goods worth only Rs. 8.32 bil­lion. Like­wise, Nepal ex­ported goods worth Rs. 351 mil­lion to China and im­ported goods worth Rs. 29.13 bil­lion. The coun­try im­ported goods worth Rs. 12.96 bil­lion from France while it ex­ported goods worth Rs. 182 mil­lion to the Eu­ro­pean coun­try. Like­wise, Nepal's trade deficit with United Arab Emi­rates has reached Rs. 4.98 bil­lion, with Switzer­land Rs. 2.78 bil­lion,

with Canada Rs. 2.55 bil­lion and with Thai­land Rs. 2.58 bil­lion. Like­wise, the year-on-year (y-o-y) con­sumer price in­fla­tion in­creased to 4.2 per cent in mid-Au­gust 2018 from 2.3 per cent a year ago. The in­crease in the price of food and bev­er­age group con­trib­uted to a rise in over­all in­fla­tion in the re­view pe­riod, ac­cord­ing to a cur­rent macroe­co­nomic and fi­nan­cial sit­u­a­tion re­port pub­lished by Nepal Ras­tra Bank (NRB). The y-o-y in­fla­tion of food and bev­er­age group rose to 2.9 per cent in mid-Au­gust 2018 as against the de­cline of 1 per cent a year ago. A surge in prices of veg­eta­bles, to­bacco prod­ucts, ce­re­als grains and their prod­ucts among oth­ers mainly con­trib­uted to a rise in food in­fla­tion in the re­view pe­riod. Non-food and ser­vice in­fla­tion in­creased to 5.2 per cent in mid-Au­gust 2018 from 4.9 per cent a year ago. Re­gion-wise, the Hilly re­gion wit­nessed rel­a­tively higher rate of in­fla­tion of 5.3 per cent fol­lowed by 4.1 per cent in the Terai, 3.5 per cent in the Kath­mandu Val­ley and 2.7 per cent in Moun­tain. The y-o-y whole­sale price in­fla­tion stood at 6.3 per cent in mid-Au­gust 2018 com­pared to 1.2 per cent a year ago. Due to the surge in the prices of pe­tro­leum prod­ucts, ba­sic met­als, tex­tiles, wooden prod­ucts, among oth­ers, the whole­sale price in­fla­tion in the re­view pe­riod re­mained higher com­pared to the same pe­riod of the pre­vi­ous year.

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