RISE in the number of tourist arrivals and increase in transit goods to and from neighbouring countries pushed up foreign exchange receipts in the year ending July by 3.0 per cent and 10.4 per cent respectively.
According to the Bank of Tanzania (BoT) monthly economic review for August, foreign exchange receipts from services increased to over 8.2tri/- (3,608.4 million US dollars) from 7.9tri/- (3,443.1 million US dollars) in the corresponding period last year.
“Travel receipts increased following a rise in the number of tourist arrivals, while for transport receipts were on account of an increase in transit goods to and from neighbouring countries,” read part of the statement.
The overall balance of payments was a surplus of 1,492.5 million in the year ending July compared to a deficit of 275.7 million US dollars in the year ending last year.
The significant improvement was mainly caused by increase in foreign exchange inflows in the form of grants and external borrowing. Official foreign reserves increased strongly to 5,303.5 million US dollars at end of July from 3,883.4 million US dollars at the end of July in the previous year.
The reserves were sufficient to cover about 5.2 month of projected import of goods and services. Gross foreign assets of banks amounted to 693.3 million US dollars compared with 876.7 million US dollars in the corresponding period in 2016.
Furthermore, during the year under review, service account balance improved to a surplus of 1,600.9 million US dollars compared to 1,009.8 million US dollars recorded in the year to July 2016.
Services payment amounted to 2,007.4 million US dollars in the year ending July, lower by 17.5 percent from the year ending July 2016.
A large decline occurred in travel and transportation payments. Travel payments, which accounts for about 40.4 percent of total services payment, declined by 25.6 percent, while payments for transportation that account for 41.9 percent decreased by 10.9 percent owing to the fall in goods imports.