ZANZIBAR current account balance deficit has almost doubled for the year ending March due to higher value of imports relative to exports.
The isles current account balance registered a deficit of 73.6 million US dollars compared to a deficit of 46 million US dollars in the year ending last March.
“The performance,” Bank of Tanzania said in its latest monthly economic reviews, “was largely attributed to higher value of imports relative to exports”.
On a monthly basis, however, the current account balance stood at a deficit of 14.4m US dollars, from a surplus of 4.2m US dollars, due to increase in imports.
The BoT report showed that exports of goods and services increased to 237.7m US dollars in the year ending March from 196.6 million US dollars in the corresponding period last year.
“The outturn was largely associated with improved service earnings as well as export of cloves and seaweeds,” the report indicated. Monthly exports declined by 29.9 per cent to 17.7m US dollars this March.
This was largely due to a decline in services receipts related to tourism activities. Tourist arrivals in Zanzibar decreased by 66.7 per cent to 20,584 in March from 61,752 in February due to the outbreak of coronavirus pandemic.
Imports of goods and services amounted to 400.3million US dollars in the year ending March an increase of 36 per cent compared to the corresponding period in 2019.
“All major categories of goods import recorded growth,” the central bank said in the report. On a monthly basis, imports reached 44.1 million US dollars in March from 38.7 million US dollars in February.
“[This was] mainly driven by capital goods, in particular machinery, and consumer goods, especially food and foodstuff,” the report said