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East Africa

Tanzania current account deficit narrows 50% in year to April

PUBLISHED: Tue, 27 Jun 2017 12:17:59 GMT

Tanzania’s current account deficit halved in the year to April, helped by a decline in imports and surging tourism and gold export earnings, the central bank said on Tuesday.

The trade gap narrowed to $1.6 billion, from $3.21 billion in the previous 12-month period, the Bank of Tanzania (BoT) said in its monthly economic report.

Earnings from tourism, the main foreign exchange earner, rose slightly, buoyed by more visitor arrivals, it said.

Foreign exchange reserves rose to $4.4 billion in the year to April from $3.8 billion previously, equivalent to about four months of import cover.

Tanzania’s 2017 economic growth is now seen at 7.1 percent from a previous projection of 7.4 percent, cooled by slowing private-sector credit growth and public spending cuts.

The central bank said gold earned Tanzania $1.51 billion for the year to April, up from $1.19 billion in the previous period, reflecting higher export volumes and global prices.

Tanzania is Africa’s fourth-largest gold producer after South Africa, Ghana and Mali.

(Reporting by Fumbuka Ng’wanakilala; Editing by Elias Biryabarema and Robin Pomeroy)


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