15 Sep 2009 14:23

Belarusian foreign trade deficit widens 90% in Jan-July

MINSK. Sept 15 (Interfax) - Belarus saw its foreign trade deficit expand 90% to $3.302 billion in January-July 2009 compared to the same period of 2008, the National Bank said on its website.

The foreign trade deficit for goods totaled $4.117 billion in the seven months, up 50% from the same period of last year, while the foreign trade surplus for services amounted to $815.3 million, down 19.1%.

Belarusian exports declined 43.9% to $12.9 billion in the period with exports of goods falling 46.4% to $11.04 billion and exports of services dropping 22.4% to $1.87 billion.

Imports to Belarus fell 34.5% to $16.2 billion in the period with imports of goods declining 35.1% to $15.16 billion and imports of services decreasing 24.8% to $1.05 billion.

The country's foreign trade turnover of goods and services was valued at $29.1 billion in January-July 2009, down 39% from the first seven months of 2008, as trade turnover of goods fell 40.4% to $26.2 billion and the turnover of services declined 23.3% to $2.9 billion.

Belarus had a foreign trade deficit of $4.4 billion in 2008, while the government had predicted a deficit of $1.4 billion-$1.42 billion. In 2009, the government has set the goal of lowering the deficit to $1.47 billion-$1.5 billion.