Zanzibar’s current account deficit widened by 47.9 percent to $359 million during March 2023, from the deficit registered in corresponding period last year according to the Bank of Tanzania (BoT) Monthly Economic Review for April, 2023.
This outturn was associated with an increase in imports bill that outweighed the increase in exports.
Exports of goods and services increased to $200.1 million during the year ending March 2023, from $162.6 million in the year to March 2022, explained by improvement in services receipts.
Service receipts increased by 77.7 percent to $135.3 million during the review period, largely on account of tourism activities following an increase in the number of tourist arrivals.
Goods exports recorded an annual decrease of 25.1 percent mostly driven by cloves.
Cloves exports decline $43 million, from $62 million in the year to March 2022 owing to cyclical nature of the crop.
“On monthly basis, goods and services worth $17 million were exported in March 2023 compared with $15.1 million in March 2022,” the report shows.
The import bill rose to $578.7 million during the year to March 2023, from $419.3 million in the corresponding period in 2022, with both goods and services imports recording increases.
As for goods, the increase was largely driven by intermediate goods, in particular refined white products.
Service payments rose by almost a third, largely on account of high freight expenses consistent with the increase in imports of goods.
“On monthly basis the import bill increased to $49.9 million in March 2023, from $39.6 million in similar month in 2022,” the report shows.