DAR ES SALAAM (Reuters) - Tanzania's current account deficit shrank by 61.6 percent in the year to October, helped by a decline in imports and improved performances by the tourism and mining sectors, the central bank said on Wednesday.
The gap narrowed to $1.84 billion in the 12 months to October from $4.79 billion in the same period last year.
In its monthly economic report, the Bank of Tanzania attributed the change to a fall in imports of goods and services to $10.69 billion from $13.23 billion and a 7.5 percent rise in goods and services exports to $9.47 billion.
The east African country generates most of its foreign earnings from tourism and gold exports, both of which increased in the year to October from the same period a year before.
Tourism revenues grew to $2.22 billion from $2.01 billion as more visitors arrived, while gold exports rose to $1.39 billion from $1.18 billion on higher volumes and global prices. Tanzania is Africa's fourth-largest gold producer. Export earnings from manufactured goods fell to $1.25 billion in the year to October from $1.31 billion a year before, while the value of traditional exports led by tobacco, cashew nuts and coffee rose to $849.9 million from $837.9 million. Gross official foreign exchange reserves held by the central bank in the year to October amounted to $4.05 billion, or about four months of import cover, in line with the government's target, the central bank said.
(Reporting by Fumbuka Ng'wanakilala; Editing by Duncan Miriri and Catherine Evans)