Rwanda’s trade deficit up 27.7% in Q1
Kigali, Aug. 22, 2019 (Xinhua/NAN) Rwanda’s trade deficit on Thursday increased by 27.7 per cent in the first half of 2019, compared to the same period of 2018, the central bank said.
The central bank governor, John Rwangombwa, disclosed this while presenting the bank’s second Monetary Policy and Financial Stability Statement of 2019 in the capital city of Kigali.
Rwangombwa said the trade deficit settled at 767.92 million U.S. dollars in the first half of 2019, compared to 601.4 million U.S. dollars in the same period in 2018.
According to him, increased imports bill is attributed to domestic demand for intermediate and capital goods due to ongoing investments. In the first half of 2019, imports bill rose by 18.2 per cent to 1,338.7 million U.S. dollars.
He added that due to the relatively high import bill, relative to December 2018, the Rwandan franc depreciated by 2.2 per cent against the Dollar by the end of June.
This, he said, was higher than the depreciation of 1.7 per cent registered in the same period of 2018.
Rwangombwa also said Rwanda’s total exports receipts increased by 7.5 per cent to 577.8 million U.S. dollars in the first half of 2019 compared to 537.3 million dollars in the first half of 2018.
However, its volume had also increased by 58.1 per cent.
He said in line with the made-in-Rwanda programme, there was growing share of non-traditional exports mainly driven by increased domestic production of milling industry, flowers, other minerals, cement, textiles, as well as iron and steel.
Rwangombwa said Rwanda had been experiencing strong economic growth since the second half of 2017, with an average real GDP rate of 8.8 per cent, (Xinhua/NAN)