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Zimbabwe's Trade Deficit Narrows in February

The Zimbabwe National Statistics Agency (Zimstats) has disclosed a significant narrowing of the country’s trade deficit in February 2024, with the deficit standing at USD 81.4 million, marking a 44.6% improvement from January's USD 147.0 million deficit.

Wilson Waison

Grown Chirongwe, Acting Director of Zimstats, explained that a trade deficit occurs when a country imports more than it exports. Conversely, a trade surplus is achieved when exports exceed imports.

In February, Zimbabwe's exports surged to USD 644.0 million, representing a 19.3% increase (USD 104.1 million) compared to January's exports of USD 539.9 million. Imports for the same month reached USD 725.4 million, a modest 5.6% rise (USD 38.5 million) from January's imports of USD 686.9 million.

Tobacco led the export list, with China and South Africa being the primary destinations. Chirongwe highlighted that tobacco, semi-manufactured gold, and nickel mattes were the top three export commodities, accounting for significant portions of the total export value.

South Africa, China, and the United Arab Emirates were the major export markets in February, collectively accounting for approximately seventy-nine percent of the total exports valued at USD 644.0 million.

On the import side, mineral fuels, mineral oil products, machinery, cereals, and vehicles topped the list, making up significant shares of the total import value of USD 725.4 million.

Furthermore, Zimstats reported a month-on-month inflation rate of 4.9% for March 2024, a slight decrease from February's 5.4%. Thomas Chidhakwa noted that the inflation rate is calculated based on the percentage change in the consumer price index (CPI) from one month to the next.

For March, the CPI for Food and Non-Alcoholic Beverages made the most significant contribution to the month-on-month inflation rate, followed by Housing, Water, Electricity, Gas, and Other Fuels.

This data indicates a shift towards stabilizing Zimbabwe's economic landscape, with efforts to balance trade and control inflation showing early signs of success.


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