Exports of goods and services in real terms grew strongly in the second and third quarters of 2017, following the first quarter’s 17.24 per cent year-on-year decrease while the annual growth rate of real exports was recorded 8.74 per cent, slightly less than 11.53 per cent recorded last year.
This was mainly due to significant expansion of exports in the third quarter. The value of exports in nominal terms expanded substantially (60.06 per cent), during the review year.
According to a 2017 GDP income and expenditure report from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), the influence of prices on nominal indicators tended to calm down as inflation decreased substantially in the second half of 2017.
The value of imports followed a different pattern than exports through the year of 2017. While real imports saw negative growth in the first half of the year, this component started picking up positive growth in the third (21.78 per cent) and last quarters of the year (23.98 per cent). Overall, in 2017, real imports grew by 4.75 per cent year on year, compared to –10.36 per cent recorded in 2016.
The significant increase in real imports in the third and the last quarter in 2017 reflects gradually improving domestic demand and the recovery of the national economy. Nominal imports of goods and services continued to grow through the year, although the growth rate tended to decrease from Q1 to Q4. Annual imports grew by 28.29 per cent in nominal terms in 2017 and the annual trade balance rose by 10.12 per cent in real terms compared to 21.79 per cent seen in 2016. However, in nominal terms, the net trade balance fell by 99.78 per cent year on year in 2017.