Import payments on the upturn

Industrial production bouncing back

With the industrial production steadily bouncing back, the overall import payments increased by 11.85 per cent or $528 million in December month-on-month last year.   

Import payments, a major indicator of a nation’s economic state, witnessed a 10.1per cent growth or $409million in November last year, according to Bangladesh Bank (BB).

Normalcy has almost returned in overall economic activities, including the industrial production, following the rolling out of mass Covid-19 vaccination that has restored business confidence in Bangladesh with many countries across the globe.

Payments against import are increasing gradually as overall imports, including industrial raw materials import, are on the rise for industrial production, BB's chief spokesperson Sirajul Islam said.     

In October 2020, the country’s import payments dropped to $4.05 billion after an increase to $4.3 billion in September from $3.52 billion in the previous month.

In July, the country’s import payments were $3.91 billion, according to BB's latest data.

With encouraging results of the Covid-19 vaccine trial at the outset of November 2020, global business confidence started boosting up despite the emergence of a second wave of the deadly virus that so far claimed 2.55 million lives across the globe.

Even though import payments have improved in the last couple of months, imports in the first half of the current fiscal year (FY21) was 6.8 per cent lower than import payments in the same period of the previous fiscal year (FY20).

Payments against imports were $25.23 billion in July-December of FY21 against $27.07 billion in the same period of FY20.

Businesspeople and bankers said Covid-19 vaccination in the country from January 27 has raised the investment confidence as well.

Given the present situation, the bankers at a meeting with BB governor Fazle Kabir recently also expressed optimism and requested the central bank not to enhance the loan moratorium facility further.

Despite the improvements, the country’s trade deficit in July-December of FY21 dropped by 21.37 per cent or $1.76 billion to $6.47 billion against $8.22 billion in the same period of the previous fiscal year.