Data revisions by researchers at Statistics Botswana have wiped away the trade surplus recorded in February this year.
In its latest update on the merchandise trade balance,
Statistics Botswana noted that the preliminary surplus of P13.9 million reported in February, had now been amended to a deficit of P39 million. The January surplus of P1.48 billion was also revised marginally down to a surplus of P1.43 billion. The surplus reported in January had been the country’s first since January 2020 and the good figures in February had given hope that the country was finally breaking its rolling trade deficits seen for most of 2020.
In its latest update, Statistics Botswana indicates that the trade balance in March suffered a P945.7 million deficit as imports surged against exports. The trade balance, which is the difference between the value
The impact was reflected on the country’s foreign reserves, as the Bank of Botswana was forced to make more funds available for short-term foreign currency requirements. Economists have warned that when deficits persist, they weaken a country’s foreign reserves and potentially its currency.