Tanzania: Z'bar Current Account Deficit Widens Slightly

ZANZIBAR current account recorded a deficit of $113.9m higher than that of $62.3m recorded in the corresponding period in 2019 on account of the rise in import bills.

According to the Bank of Tanzania (BoT) monthly economic review for December, a goods account registered a deficit of $307.8m, from a deficit of $224.2m in the year ending November 2019.

A services account registered a surplus of $62.7m, 37.7 per cent lower than the surplus recorded during the corresponding period in 2019.

The decline in surplus was largely due to a decrease in receipts, mainly from travel services, including tourism.

The exports of goods and services decreased by 5.9 per cent in the year ending November last year, from the amount registered in the similar period in 2019, largely associated with a decline in service receipts.

The cloves export was $18.2m, higher than $2.3m registered in the year ending November 2019.

The seaweeds export was $4.5m, higher than $4.4m recorded during the year ending November 2019.

Other export categories declined with the exception of fish and fish products whose value increased by 16.2 per cent on account of increased demand for fish.

Imports of goods and services increased by 32.4 per cent to $445.1m from the level recorded in the corresponding period in 2019.

This was driven by a rise in imports of capital goods, in particular transport equipment and machinery.

Notably, all imports categories recorded an improvement, except for intermediate goods. The goods import accounted for about 30 per cent of the total imports.

The current account deficit is a measurement of a country's trade where the value of the goods and services it imports exceeds the value of the products it exports.

The current account includes net income, such as interest and dividends, and transfers, such as foreign aid, although these components make up only a small percentage of the total current account.

The current account represents a country's foreign transactions and, like the capital account, is a component of a country's balance of payments (BOP).

Meanwhile, in November government resources amounted to 50bn/- of which domestic revenue was 48.4bn/- equivalent to 56.8 per cent of the monthly target.

The underperformance was attributed to the negative effects of the Covid-19 pandemic on major tax sources. Tax revenue was 42bn/- equivalent to 55.5 per cent of the estimate while non-tax revenue was 6.3bn/-.

The government expenditure reached 68.7bn/- of which recurrent expenditure was 51bn/- while 17.7bn/- was for development projects.

Local financing of development projects was 0.3bn/- equivalent to 3.0 per cent of the target, while foreign financing amounted to 17.4bn/- equivalent to 97.7 per cent of the target.

Deficit after grants and adjustment to cash and other items was 15.7bn/- financed by loans.

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