Belarus trade deficit widens 220% in 5 mths

MINSK. July 13 (Interfax) - Belarus saw the trade deficit widen 220% to $2.520 billion in January-May, the National Bank said on its web site.

The foreign trade deficit for goods totaled $3.081 billion in the five months, up 100% from the same period last year, while the foreign trade surplus for services came to $560.9 million, down 24%.

Belarusian exports declined 45.5% to $8.526 billion in the period with exports of goods falling 48.2% to $7.260 billion and exports of services dropping 22.6% to $1.267 billion.

Imports to Belarus fell 32.8% to $11.046 billion in the period with imports of goods declining 33.5% to $10.340 billion and imports of services decreasing 21.4% to $705.9 million.

The country's foreign trade turnover of goods and services was valued at $19.57 billion in January-May 2009, down 39% from the first five months of 2008, as trade turnover of goods fell 40.5% to $17.6 billion and the turnover of services declined 22.2% to $1.97 billion.

Belarus had a foreign trade deficit of $4.4 billion in 2008, while the government had predicted a deficit of $1.4 billion-$1.42 billion. In 2009, the government has set the goal of lowering the deficit to $1.47 billion-$1.5 billion.



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