KIGALI Oct 5 Burundi's trade deficit narrowed
to 484 billion francs ($291 million) in the first six months of
2016 from 658.5 billion francs in the same period a year earlier
due to falling import costs and fuel prices, the central bank
said on Wednesday.
Costs for imported raw material for the manufacturing sector
fell 26 percent while those for petroleum products dropped 9
percent, central bank data showed.
Business activity in Burundi, which relies heavily on coffee
and tea exports, was slowed by several months of political
violence which escalated in April last year, when President
Pierre Nkurunziza decided to seek a third term.
The violence killed at least 450 people and forced over
300,000 to seek refuge in neighbouring countries, according to
the U.N. refugee agency.
Authorities say domestic business had revived since the
first quarter of 2016 due to a relative calm across the country,
especially in the capital Bujumbura which accounts for 55
percent of output.
Imports fell 23.3 percent in value to 562.7 billion francs
while exports rose 3.7 percent to 78.6 billion francs helped by
high revenues from coffee. Burundi suffers from a chronic
imbalance between imports and exports.
($1 = 1,662.0000 Burundi francs)
(Reporting by Patrick Nduwimana; Editing by George Obulutsa and