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Rwanda’s Trade Deficit Increased in First Two Months of 2016, Governor

Rwanda’s trade deficit grew in the first two months of this year 2016 as compared to how it was last year in the same period.

According to a statement released by the central bank yesterday, the country’s trade deficit widened to $297.2 million (about Rwf232.4 billion) largely due to an increase in formal imports that rose by about 7.2 per cent, as well as a 9.7 per cent decrease in the value of Rwanda’s exports.

Trade deficit is the difference between imports and exports, with the former being higher in this case.

The international trade developments were among the focus of discussions during yesterday’s quarterly financial stability committee and monetary policy committee meetings chaired by the National Bank of Rwanda (BNR) governor, John Rwangombwa.

Comparing the international trade trends with the same period last year, the committees observed that the widening trade deficit had exerted pressure on the foreign exchange market and depreciation against the dollar.

This comes as the country is conducting a national campaign promoting consumption of locally-made products to reduce formal imports and, consequently, the trade deficit.

By Robert Muriisa.

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