KATHMANDU, Jan 20: Even though overall trade deficit widened by more than 16 percent, country´s balance of payment (BoP) recorded all time high surplus of Rs 61.19 billion over the first five months of the current fiscal year, says the latest Nepal Rastra Bank (NRB) report.
The report on latest macro-economic situation released on Friday also shows that country´s current account also registered a surplus of Rs 24.89 billion during the period, compared to a deficit of Rs. 4.58 billion of the same period last year, indicating sound economic outlook of the country.
The central bank attributed the situation to upsurges in remittances receipt and improvement in tourism receipts, among others.
According to the report, Nepal received Rs 133.19 billion in remittances during the first five months of 2011/12, a rise of whopping 37 percent compared to what the country received in the same period last year. Though the trade deficit during the period jumped to Rs 147.72 billion, NRB says country´s exports trade performed strongly, recording a growth of 11.5 percent.
“Nepal´s total exports during the period jumped to Rs 30.05 billion,” says the report. While exports to India jumped by 14.7 percent to about Rs 20 billion, exports to other countries also grew by about 6 percent, crossing over Rs 10 billion.
Imports also widened by 15 percent during the period and touched Rs 177.78 billion. While imports from India expanded by 8 percent to Rs 112 billion, imports from third countries grew by 31 percent to Rs 65.38 billion.
As a result of strong remittance growth, better export earning and tourism and other service income, the gross foreign exchange reserves increased by 35.4 percent to Rs 368.63 billion in mid-Dec 2011, reads the NRB report.
The central bank also announced that inflation in mid-Dec, 2011 moderated to 7.5 percent. Most importantly the report notes that the prices of food and beverages during the period increased by just 7.1 percent, easing lives of consumers greatly. Prices of non-food and services, however, soared by 7.8 percent.
Under the food items also, the prices of fruits rose by the highest rate of 20 percent. The prices of vegetables went up by 18.8 percent, while prices of ghee and oil increased by 12.5 percent during the period.
Moreover, the report says that salary and wage rate increased by 31 percent in mid-Dec, 2011. While overall salary increased 19.3 percent, the wage rate also increased by 34.4 percent during the period.