Gross Official Reserves Increase By 7.3% To Reach E7.6 billion

Photo Credit: Central Bank Of Eswatini

By Ntokozo Nkambule

The Central Bank of Eswatini’s November-December 2022 Monthly Statistical Release has revealed that the country’s gross official reserves have increased by 7.3%, and now stand at E7.6 billion.

The country’s reserves however still represent a 15.3% decline on a year-on-year basis. The CBE has attributed the increase to an inflow of foreign exchange proceeds from the African Development Bank (AFDB) funding for a government project. The increase in reserves means the import cover has risen to 2.6 months from 2.4 months in November 2022.

The monthly Statistical Release has also revealed that credit extended to the private sector increased by 1.1% and 7.8% year on year. “Growth in private sector credit was driven by credit to the households & non-profit institutions serving households (NPISH) and businesses. However, credit to other sectors of the domestic economy declined over the month under review”

The report further observes that mining & quarrying, manufacturing, distribution, tourism, and real estate played a major role in credit extended to businesses over the reporting period. Credit extended to businesses increased by 0.2% from the previous month and 23.5% year on year. There were certain sectors however that observed a decline in the preceding month. “A decline was observed in credit to the following subsectors; construction (-16.2 percent), transport & communication (-0.6 percent), community, social & personal services (-0.5 percent) and agriculture & forestry (-0.4 percent)”

Notably, credit extended to other sectors fell by 6.0% and 55.9% year on year. The total amount that was extended stood at E678.8 million at the end of November 2022. The CBE notes that the contraction was observed across all credit categories namely; other financial corporations, local government, and public non-financial corporations, which fell by 9.3 percent, 8.1 percent, and 0.1 percent, respectively.

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