Contraction in Nepal's foreign trade, imports decreased by Rs 20 billion

Published On: November 23, 2023 06:00 PM NPT By: Dilip Paudel

KATHMANDU, Nov 23: Despite being an import-based economy, Nepal's foreign trade has contracted. Imports have declined in the month of Kartik (mid-October to mid-November), despite an expected increase in consumption during the festivals of Dashain, Tihar, Chhath, and others.

According to the data released by the Department of Customs on Thursday, imports have decreased by approximately Rs 20 billion in Kartik this year compared to the same month in the previous year.

The Department reports a 3.79 percent decrease in imports compared to the last fiscal year. In the four months from Shrawan (mid-July to mid-August) to Kartik last fiscal year, goods worth Rs 532.69 billion were imported, whereas goods worth Rs 512.50 billion were imported during the same period this year. Overall, foreign trade has declined, with exports dropping by 7.68 percent. The trade deficit has also decreased by 3.34 percent.

While a reduction in the trade deficit is considered positive, the decrease in imports is attributed to a decline in consumers' purchasing power. This does not necessarily indicate an increase in domestic production and a decrease in imports. Despite the growth of the economy, exports have also declined. During this period, goods worth Rs 50.56 billion were exported, compared to Rs 54.77 billion in the same period last fiscal year. Overall, foreign employment has decreased by 4.15 percent.

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