Zimbabwe recorded a US$557.6 million trade deficit in the first quarter of the year, the Ministry of Finance said.
In a statement, the ministry said exports stood slightly above US$1 billion in the period, and imports at US$1.5 billion. But exports rose at a faster rate of 67.2 percent.
“The trade deficit, at US$557.6 million, has worsened during the first three months of the year when compared with the US$496.9 million deficit recorded over the same period last year,” the ministry said.
It said rising fuel costs accounted for the bigger share of the increase in imports. Apart from fuel, basic consumer goods also make up a large part of Zimbabwe’s imports.
The economy is recovering from ten years of consecutive sharp decline, resulting in Zimbabwe relying more on imported products.
Most companies are still operating below capacity