Trade deficit narrows by 26,4pc

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RADE deficit narrowed 26,4 percent to US$69,6 million in October from US$94,6 million recorded in September with the Russian Federation (15,2 percent ) overtaking China (11,9 percent) in major source countries of imports rankings, Zimbabwe National Statistical Agency has said.

A trade deficit occurs when a country’s value of imports is greater than the value of exports in a given period. When the value of exports exceeds the value of imports, it implies a trade surplus.

Outlining external trade statistics for October and prices statistics for November, ZimStat acting director general Mrs Mationesa Phiri said month-on-month inflation rate for November was 4,5 percent gaining two percentage points on the October rate of 2,5 percent.

The year-on-year inflation rate for the month of November as measured by the all-items Consumer Price Index (CPI), was 21,6 percent for the month of November 2023, the CPI for Housing, Water, Electricity, Gas and other Fuels, had the highest contribution to the month-on-month change in index (inflation rate) of 2,5 percent followed by Food and Non-Alcoholic Beverages with a contribution of 1,5 percent.

Mrs Phiri said the trade deficit for October was US$69,6 million, translating to a 26, 4 percent decline from the deficit of US$94,6 million recorded in the prior month.

“The total value of exported goods in October 2023 was US$831,9 million, representing a 22,7 percent increase from US$678,1 million reported in September 2023,” she noted.

In the period under review, Zimstats said among the country’s major export destinations in October were China (38, 4 percent) and the United Arab Emirates (22,8 percent), South Africa (16,3 percent.)

The three countries accounted for seventy-seven percent of the total export value of US$831,9 million. Industrial supplies comprised 95,6 percent of the goods exported accounting for US$795 million.

Consumer goods had US$12,9 million while food and beverages contributed US$12 million.

In terms of major source countries of imports in the period under review, South Africa had 34,7 percent, the Russian Federation (15,2 percent ) and China (11,9 percent).

Zimstats said the three countries accounted for around sixty-two percent of the total import value of US$901,5 million.

It also noted that the trade deficit for goods narrowed by 26,4 percent from US$94,6 million in September to US$69,6 million in October. – Chronicle