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Uzbekistan's balance of payments deficit halved

Finance Materials 15 October 2019 20:09

Baku, Azerbaijan, Oct. 15

By Fakhri Vakilov-Trend:

According to preliminary estimates by Uzbekistan’s Central Bank, the current account deficit of the balance of payments for nine months of 2019 will amount to $1.6 billion, a decrease of 50 percent compared to the same period in 2018 ($3.1 billion), Trend reports with reference to the Central Bank’s report.

“Favorable pricing conditions on world markets for commodities in Uzbekistan contributed to the growth goods’ exports to $11.1 billion compared with $7.3 billion in the corresponding period last year. The increase in the value of exports is associated with an increase in both physical volumes and the cost of goods,” the Central Bank reported.

Imports of goods rose to $15.6 billion compared to the same period last year ($12.7 billion). The largest growth in imports was in machinery (21 percent) and equipment (26 percent), both of which made 32 percent of total imports. Moreover, vehicles made 13 percent of total imports. As a result, the negative trade balance relative to the nine months of 2018 improved by 17 percent and amounted to $4.5 billion.

According to the regulator, the positive balance of factor income and transfers increased by 13 percent due to a commensurate increase in cross-border money transfers ($ 4.2 billion). In turn, the investment income of non-residents (on loans and foreign investments) also grew by 5.6 percent and reached $ 1.4 billion.

“According to preliminary estimates, the financial account (excluding operations with reserve assets) will develop with a negative balance of $5.3 billion. Net capital inflows are associated with operations of the general government sector and the growth in attracting external credit lines, as well as the placement of sovereign bonds of Uzbekistan,” the Central Bank reported.

Moreover, reserve assets as of October 1, 2019, are estimated at $27.9 billion, which, in turn, is sufficient to finance about 13 monthly imports of Uzbekistan (the recommended level is 3 months).

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