$2b surplus in BoP


bdnews24.com :
Bangladesh recorded a balance of payment (BoP) surplus of US $2.02 billion after paying off import bills in February this year, the central bank revealed on Thursday.
The figure was $1.995 billion at February-end last year and over US$ 2.525 billion at the end of the previous fiscal.
There was $447 million deficit in the balance of payment at the end of the 2011-12 financial year.
Economists said a ‘positive trend’ in exports and ‘slow pace in imports’ contributed to the accumulation of the surplus.
Bangladesh Institute of Development Studies (BIDS) Research Director Zaid Bakht was happy with the surplus.
He told bdnews24.com: “A surplus of over $2 billion amid the political instability towards the end of the last (calendar) year is certainly good news for our economy.”
“At one time, it was thought that surplus was increasing as imports were not rising. But in recent time, imports of goods and capital machinery, needed for setting up industries, are increasing, which will impact on the economy,” he added.
Bakht said the surplus could be used in large projects, including the Padma bridge construction.
World Bank Dhaka Office’s Chief Economist Zahid Hossain thinks the decrease in trade deficit has contributed to the BoP surplus.
He said: “Positive trend in export earnings has continued. But imports are not increasing at that rate. It is resulting in decline in trade deficit. And this is contributing to increase in the surplus in the balance of payment.”
Trade deficit down by 44.3 pc
The Bangladesh Bank data show that trade deficit at the end of February this year fell 44.3 percent over the same time in last year.
The surplus stood at $ 2.561 billion at February-end this year against $ 4.599 billion at the closing of previous February.