ECONOMY Bad Shape

Nepal Rastra Bank’s report shows that remittances continue to slump, BOP deficit rises

April 26, 2022, 11:42 a.m. Published in Magazine Issue: VOL. 15, No. 17, April.22, 2022 (Baishakh 09. 2079) Publisher and Editor: Keshab Prasad Poudel Online Register Number: DOI 584/074-75

Remittance inflows decreased by 1.7 per cent to Rs. 631.19 billion by the end of the eighth month of the fiscal year against an increase of 8.7 per cent of the previous year according to the Current Macroeconomic and Financial Situation report of the Nepal Rastra Bank (NRB).

According to The Rising Nepal, the number of Nepali workers taking approval for foreign employment increased significantly to 227,900 in the review period. It had decreased by 82.9 per cent in the same period of the previous year. The number of Nepali workers taking approval for making re-entry for foreign employment increased by 240.9 per cent to 178,262. It had decreased by 70.2 per cent in the same period of the previous year.

Net transfer decreased by 2.0 per cent to Rs. 704.33 billion in the review period. Such a transfer had increased by 7.2 per cent last year.

The report states that the current account remained at a deficit of Rs. 462.93 billion in the eighth month of this year compared to a deficit of Rs. 151.42 billion in the same period of the previous year.

BOP deficit continues to grow

Balance of Payments (BOP) remained at a deficit of Rs. 258.64 billion against a surplus of Rs. 68.01 billion of the previous year.

Similarly, gross foreign exchange reserves decreased by 16.3 per cent to Rs. 1171 billion in mid-March 2022 from Rs. 1399.03 billion in mid-July 2021.

The central bank said that based on the imports of eight months of 2021/22, the foreign exchange reserves of the banking sector is sufficient to cover the prospective merchandise imports of 7.4 months, and merchandise and services imports of 6.7 months.

Similarly, deposits at Banks and Financial Institutions (BFIs) increased by 4.1 per cent in the review period compared to an increase of 11.0 per cent in the corresponding period of the previous year.

Private sector credit from BFIs increased by 12.8 per cent this year compared to an increase of 17.4 per cent last year.

Likewise, capital transfer decreased by 41.2 per cent to Rs. 7 billion and net foreign direct investment (FDI) increased by 60.0 per cent to Rs. 16.30 billion. In the same period of the previous year, capital transfer and net FDI amounted to Rs. 11.91 billion and Rs. 10.18 billion respectively.

In the review month, hill area experienced the highest inflation of 7.69 per cent. The Kathmandu Valley, Terai and Mountain witnessed inflation of 6.31 per cent, 7.36 per cent and 7.56 per cent respectively. Inflation in these regions was 2.50 per cent, 3.25 per cent, 3.40 per cent and 1.31 per cent respectively in mid-March 2021 reports RSS.

Consumer price inflation has increased in the first three months of the current fiscal year 2021/22.

According to the current macroeconomic and financial report published by the Nepal Rastra Bank (NRB), the year-on-year (y-o-y) consumer price inflation stood at 5.65 per cent in the sixth month of 2021/22 compared to 3.56 per cent a year ago.

Food and beverage inflation stood at 4.92 per cent whereas non-food and service inflation stood at 6.23 per cent in the review month.

The prices of ghee and oil, transportation, alcoholic drinks, tobacco products and pulses and legumes sub-categories rose by 21.22 per cent, 14.07 per cent, 11.37 per cent, 10.48 per cent and 9.22 per cent respectively on y-o-y basis.

In the review month, the Kathmandu Valley, Terai, Hill and Mountain witnessed 5.28 per cent, 6.15 per cent, 5.34 per cent and 5.22 per cent inflation respectively.

Inflation in these regions was 3.55 per cent, 2.87 per cent, 4.72 per cent and 3.38 per cent respectively a year ago.

The y-o-y wholesale price inflation stood at 8.08 per cent in the review month compared to 6.18 per cent a year ago.

The y-o-y wholesale price of consumption goods, intermediate goods and capital goods increased by 9.10 per cent, 7.67 per cent and 7.14 per cent respectively.

The y-o-y wholesale price of construction materials has increased by 17.51 per cent in the review month.

The y-o-y salary and wage rate index increased by 5.77 per cent in the review month. Such growth was 1.72 per cent a year ago. In the review period, salary index and wage rate index increased by 9.44 and 4.73 per cent respectively.

Remittance inflow lower by 5.5%

Meanwhile, the remittance inflows decreased by 5.5 per cent to Rs. 468.45 billion in the review period against an increase of 11.1 per cent in the same period of the previous year.

In the US dollar terms, remittance inflows decreased by 6.2 per cent to 3.93 billion in the review period against an increase of 6.7 per cent in the same period of the previous year.

Number of Nepali workers (institutional and individual-new and legalised) taking approval for foreign employment increased significantly to 167,513 in the review period.

It had decreased 89.0 per cent in the same period of the previous year. The number of Nepali workers (renew entry) taking approval for foreign employment increased by 298.1 per cent to 130,212 in the review period, said NRB.

It had decreased 75.5 per cent in the same period of the previous year.

Net transfer decreased by 4.9 per cent to Rs. 523.01 billion in the review period. Such transfer had increased by 8.9 per cent in the same period of the previous year.

BoP deficit up to Rs. 241.23 billion

Balance of Payments (BOP) remained at a deficit of Rs. 241.23 billion in the review period against a surplus of Rs. 124.92 billion in the same period of the previous year.

In the US dollar terms, the BOP remained at a deficit of 2.02 billion in the review period against a surplus of 1.05 billion in the same period of the previous year.

Similarly, the current account remained at a deficit of Rs. 354.07 billion in the first six months of the current fiscal year compared to a deficit of Rs. 51.68 billion in the same period of the previous year.

In the US dollar terms, the current account registered a deficit of 2.97 billion in the review period compared to deficit of 440.8 million in the same period last year.

In the review period, capital transfer decreased by 20 per cent to Rs. 5.48 billion while net foreign direct investment (FDI) increased by 48.1 per cent to Rs. 11.34 billion.

The capital transfer and net FDI amounted to Rs. 6.85 billion and Rs. 7.66 billion respectively in the same period of the previous year.

Foreign currency reserves down by 16.7%

In the meantime, gross foreign exchange reserves decreased by 16.7 per cent to Rs. 1165.80 billion in mid-January 2022 from Rs. 1399.03 billion in mid-July 2021.

In the US dollar terms, the gross foreign exchange reserves decreased 15.9 per cent to 9.89 billion in mid-January 2022 from 11.75 billion in mid-July 2021.

Of the total foreign exchange reserves, reserves held by NRB decreased 18.4 per cent to Rs.1015.59 billion in mid-January 2022 from Rs. 1244.63 billion in mid-July 2021.

Reserves held by banks and financial institutions (except NRB) decreased by 2.7 per cent to Rs.150.21 billion in mid-January 2022 from Rs. 154.39 billion in mid-July 2021.

The share of Indian currency in total reserves stood at 24.5 per cent in mid-January 2022.

Based on the imports of six months of 2021/22, the foreign exchange reserves of the banking sector is sufficient to cover the prospective merchandise imports of 7.2 months, and merchandise and services imports of 6.6 months, said NRB.

The ratio of reserves-to-GDP (previous fiscal year), reserves-to-imports and reserves-to-M2 stood at 27.3 per cent, 54.8 per cent and 22 per cent respectively in mid-January 2022.

Such ratios were 32.8 per cent, 84.7 per cent and 27.1 per cent respectively in mid-July 2021.

More on Economy

The Latest

Latest Magazine

VOL. 16, No. 05, Sep.27,2022 (Ashoj 11. 2079) Publisher and Editor: Keshab Prasad Poudel Online Register Number: DOI 584/074-75

VOL. 16, No. 04, Sep.09,2022 (Bhadra 24. 2079) Publisher and Editor: Keshab Prasad Poudel Online Register Number: DOI 584/074-75

VOL. 16, No. 03, August.19,2022 (Bhadra 03. 2079) Publisher and Editor: Keshab Prasad Poudel Online Register Number: DOI 584/074-75

VOL. 16, No. 02, August.05,2022 (Sharwan 20. 2079) Publisher and Editor: Keshab Prasad Poudel Online Register Number: DOI 584/074-75