In October, export earnings dipped to $3.76 billion, marking a 26-month low, primarily due to the global economic downturn and heightened inflation, which has led consumers to tighten their spending. This decline, a year-on-year decrease of 13.64%, is the first such drop since April, as reported by data released by the Export Promotion Bureau (EPB).
Of particular note is the fall in readymade garment exports, which constitute more than 80% of the total earnings, with a roughly 14% decline to $3.17 billion last month, according to data compiled by the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA). This decline in the garment sector aligns with a broader trend of decline in several other sectors, including frozen and live fish, agricultural products, leather and leather goods, jute and jute products, and home textiles.
With the exception of the garment sector, earnings from exports in all these sectors had consistently fallen in the current fiscal year after a decline in the last fiscal year of 2022-23.
BGMEA President Mr. Faruque Hassan attributes this downward export trend to the global market’s depressed sales and demand, primarily driven by soaring inflation and the ongoing Russia-Ukraine conflict, which have collectively impacted consumer behavior.