Trade deficit widens further
The balance of payment (BoP) of the country recorded a deficit of Rs. 3.29 billion in the first month of the current fiscal year, according to a report of the Nepal Rastra Bank on the macroeconomic situation of the country. The widening trade deficit is blamed for this. In the first month of fiscal year 2017/18, merchandise exports decreased by 3.9 per cent to Rs. 6.68 billion while merchandise imports increased by 9.3 per cent to Rs. 77.28 billion in the review period. The current account deficit had amounted to Rs. 2.32 billion in the same period of the previous year. However, during the review period, workers' remittances increased by 7 per cent to Rs. 55.55 billion in contrast to a decline by 2.5 per cent in the same period the previous year. Consequently, net transfer receipt increased by 4.9 per cent to Rs. 62.70 billion in the review period. Such receipt had decreased by 2.5 per cent in the same period of the previous year. In the review period, Nepal received capital transfer amounting to Rs. 674.7 million and Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) inflows of Rs. 4.61 billion. In the same period of the previous year, capital transfer and FDI inflows were Rs. 606 million and Rs. 1.23 billion respectively. The gross foreign exchange reserves of the country stood at Rs. 1078.84 billion as of mid-August 2017, a decrease of 0.1 per cent from Rs. 1079.52 billion as of mid-July 2017.