Nicaragua’s trade deficit drops 7.9% in 2023

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By LatAm Reports Editor

In 2023, Nicaragua has witnessed a significant decrease in its trade deficit during the first nine months, dropping by 7.9% compared to the same period in 2022. The Central Bank of Nicaragua, based in Managua, attributes this decline to a combined decrease in both exports and imports.

The report released by the Central Bank detailed that the trade deficit stood at $1.46 billion up to September, marking a reduction from the $1.59 billion recorded in the corresponding months of 2022. The Bank explained that this decrease is partly due to improved terms of trade, characterized by higher average prices for exported goods and lower prices for imports.

There was a noted decrease in both exports, which fell by 2.3%, and imports, which dropped by 3.5%. The total export value, encompassing merchandise and goods from the export free zone, reached $5.87 billion, representing a 2.3% decrease from the previous year. This decline was primarily driven by a 7.4% fall in free zone exports, which overshadowed the 2.5% increase in merchandise exports.

On the import side, the total value of goods and free zone imports amounted to $7.34 billion up to September, showing a 3.5% decrease compared to September 2022.

These figures come in the context of a significant rise in the trade deficit in 2022, when it reached $2.39 billion, a 59.5% increase from 2021. The 2022 trade deficit represented 15.3% of Nicaragua’s gross domestic product, as per the official data provided by the Central Bank. This recent decrease in the trade deficit indicates a shift in Nicaragua’s economic dynamics compared to the previous year.