2016 balance of payments deficit at $420m, reversing $2.6b surplus in 2015: central bank
The central bank said Friday balance of payments position registered a deficit of $2.1 billion in the fourth quarter, reversing a surplus of $804 million during the same period last year.
A current account deficit of $1 billion, or equivalent to 1.2 percent of gross domestic product, to was reported in the same period due to “higher deficit in tradei-in-goods, combined with lower net receipts of services and primary income,” the central bank added.
This resulted in a 2016 full-year balance of payments deficit of $420 million, a reversal of $2.6 billion for 2015. “This was underpinned by the decline in the current account surplus as a result mainly of the increase in trade-in-goods deficit, which more than offset the upturn in net receipts of secondary income, trade-in-services and primary income,.” the central bank said.
Due to the deficit in the balance of payments, gross international reserves reached $80.7 billion as of end-December 2016, lower than September’s $86.1 billion
“At this level, reserves can sufficiently cover 8.9 months of imports of goods, payments of services and primary income. It is also equivalent to 5.6 times the country’s short-term external debt based on original maturity and four times based on residual maturity,” the central bank said. DMS