National, Front Page

Economy healing

Published : 07 Aug 2020 10:04 PM | Updated : 06 Sep 2020 11:05 AM

The gloomy cloud that covered the country’s economy has started going away after the four months of uncertainty caused by Covid-19 pandemic. Revive of economy seems as a new shining sun in Bangladesh, indicators showed.

A boost of financial and business activities during Eid-ul-Azha provided huge cash flow in the market. It geared up transactions among the businessmen, traders and even footpath hawkers.

As people’s movement since Eid holiday continued showing an upward trend till date on Friday, a huge amount of liquid money is also being transacted in the transport sector. 

Besides, the record foreign currency reserve and inflow of remittances have also rejuvenated the country’s financial sector.

Apart from these, the country’s export earnings growth rate has also shown a positive trend. It brought smiles to the business community.

Meanwhile, Dhaka Stock Exchange (DSE) and Chittagong Stock Exchange (CSE) are also maintaining the gaining streak as optimistic investors continued their buying binge on large-cap issues amid optimism.

On the other hand, there is no food crisis now in the country as adequate food grains are remaining in government warehouses and the houses of farmers. 

Country also witnessed a bumper yield of Aman crops in the season, expecting that there would also be a bumper production of Boro paddy in the ongoing season. 

Besides, special measures have been taken to maintain the supply and distribution of foods and agricultural products among the flood-hit and poor people amid the coronavirus pandemic.

However, revenue collection has not got momentum yet. More employment opportunities needs to be created, experts said.

Experts and businessmen urged the government to implement the incentive package given to the affected sectors immediately to overcome the present situation.

After the 66 days of general holidays to halt the spread of coronavirus, the government eased the nationwide lockdown in a bid to gradually restart the stalled economy.

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s such brave decision reactivated the country’s economic sector, businessmen said. The gloomy cloud that covered the country’s economy has started going away, they added. 

Earlier on March 23, due to Covid-19, the government declared a nationwide 10-day holiday from March 26 to April 4, shutting down public and private offices except essential and healthcare facilities. Later, the lockdown had been extended for 66 days.

According to the Bangladesh Shop Owners Association, over Tk 12 thousand crores have been transacted across the country during Eid-ul-Azha.

“Though there was no bumper sale during the Eid-ul-Azha but we are satisfied as our business has started resuming. And we are hopeful that normalcy will return in the society and our business will get momentum within very short time,” Mohammad Jahangir, a cloth trader of a shopping mall at Uttara said.      

 Besides, cattle farmers across the country who feared of huge losses, also got fair price. Finally, they left the cattle market with joy as they got a good price for the sacrificial animals.

On the other hand, the foreign currency reserve and inflow of remittances hit the new record in the country in July despite the economic fallout triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The expatriates have sent $2.6 billion which is an all-time high monthly amount in the country’s remittance history.

In June, the country received $1.83 billion in remittance. At the same time, foreign exchange reserve in the country stood at record $37.287 billion till July 31.

The foreign currency reserves were $36.016 billion on June 30 this year while it was $32.716 billion in June of the previous year.

The rise in remittance inflow played a significant role in the unprecedented increase in foreign currency reserve.

Besides, the country’s export earnings also witnessed a 0.59 percent growth in July this year compared to July 2019 despite the impacts of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

According to a statement issued by the Ministry of Commerce based on the data of Export Promotion Bureau (EPB), the single month export earnings in July totaled $3,910.92 million compared to 3,887.86 million fetched in July last year.

The EPB data showed that out of the total export earnings of $3,910.92 million in July, the export earnings from primary commodities totaled $143.58 million followed by $101.06 million from agricultural products, $3,767.34 million from manufactured products, $89.94 million from leather and leather products, $103.51 million from Jute and Jute goods, $9.48 million from specialized textiles, $3,244.94 million from RMG, including $1,750.28 million from knitwear and $1,494.66 million from woven garments.

The government has set an export earning target of $41 billion from goods in the current fiscal year (FY21). The export earnings in the last fiscal year (FY20) totaled $33.67 billion.

Apart from these, capital market, like previous nine consecutive sessions, country’s both the bourses, Dhaka Stock Exchange (DSE) and Chittagong Stock Exchange (CSE) closed trading at the last session of week maintaining the gaining streak as optimistic investors continued their buying binge on large-cap issues amid optimism.

DSEX, the key index of the DSE, Thursday went up by 57.67 points or 1.33 percent to settle at 4,364.83. Two other indices also closed higher. 

The DS30 index, comprising blue chips, rose 23.46 points to finish at 1,475.88 and the DSE Shariah Index advanced 13.68 points to close at 1,011.11.

Turnover, another important indicator of the market, crossed the 8.0-billion-mark after more than one month and stood at Taka 8.36 billion on the country’s prime bourse, which was 16 percent higher than the previous day’s turnover of Taka 7.18 billion.

Of the issues traded, 219 advanced, 79 declined and 55 issues remained unchanged on the DSE floor.

A total number of 166,241 trades were executed in the day’s trading session with a trading volume of 315.84 million shares and mutual fund units.

The market-cap on the premier bourse also rose to Taka 3,336 billion from Taka 3,318 billion in the previous session.

The Chittagong Stock Exchange (CSE) also kept gaining with its All Shares Price Index (CASPI)—soaring 171 points to close at 12,401 and the Selective Categories Index – CSCX –rising 101 points to finish at 7,512.

Of the issues traded, 159 gained, 50 declined and 56 remained unchanged on the CSE.

The port city bourse traded 14.66 million shares and mutual fund units with turnover value of Taka 490 million.