February 4, 2018 / 8:29 AM / 6 months ago

UPDATE 1-Bangladesh foreign exchange reserves fall in January

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DHAKA, Feb 4 (Reuters) - Bangladesh’s foreign exchange reserves fell to $32.69 billion as at the end of January from $33.23 billion the previous month, but were up nearly 3 percent from a year earlier, the central bank said on Sunday.

The monthly decline was fuelled by a rise in imports, a senior central bank official said, adding the reserves were sufficient to cover about 10 months’ worth of imports for the country of 160 million people.

Steady garment exports and remittances from Bangladeshis working overseas, the key drivers of the country’s more than $250 billion economy, have helped foreign exchange reserves grow steadily in recent years.

Last month, Bangladesh’s central bank kept its key policy interest rates unchanged, while it raised its private sector credit growth target in a bid to achieve an economic growth target of 7.4 percent for the 2017-18 financial year that ends in June.

Bangladesh’s economic growth hit a record 7.28 percent in the 2016-17 financial year, up from 7.11 percent the previous year. (Reporting by Ruma Paul)

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