EARNINGS from tourism rose by 4.2 per cent in the year ending in October last year to 2,148.9 million US dollars compared to 2,061.8 million US dollars in the corresponding period 2016, due to increase in the number of tourist arrivals.
According to the Bank of Tanzania (BoT) monthly economic review for November last year services account improved to a surplus of 1,773.5 million US dollars from 1,248.8 million US dollars in the corresponding period in 2016, following a decline in services payments.
Earnings from services grew by 4.2 percent to 3,688.0 million US dollars largely on account of an increase in travel and transport receipts. Moreover, increase in transit goods to and from neighbouring countries was 1,078.4 million US dollars from 1,051.3 million US dollars in the similar period in 2016.
Service payments fell by 16.9 percent to 1,914.5 million US dollars during the year ended October owing to a decline in transportation payments, particularly freight and travel payments. Transportation payments, which accounted for more than 40 per cent of external services payment, dropped by 14.9 per cent over the year, largely associated with a decline in goods import.
Meanwhile, the overall balance of payments significantly improved to a surplus of 1,601.6 million US dollars in the period under review compared with a surplus 82.6 million US dollars in 2016 due to an increase in official current transfers.
Gross official foreign reserves increased to 5,573.3 million US dollars at the end of October from 4,050.9 million US dollars at the end of October 2016. The reserves were sufficient to cover 5.4 months of projected import of goods and services.
Meanwhile, gross foreign assets of banks amounted to 811.0 million US dollars.