Imports top exports

GROWTH in imports continued to outpace exports during the first three months of the year.

Government figures show exports rose 22 per cent compared to an 18 per cent rise in imports over the same period last year.

During March, fuel imports increased by 143 per cent in volume compared with the same month last year.

There was a 24 per cent increase in the volume of office machines, scientific and electrical machinery, but a fall in imports of textile machinery.

Increases were recorded across all classes of imports of end-use goods, with raw materials and semi-manufacturers up 8.4 per cent, foodstuffs, 5.4 per cent and capital goods, 3.9 per cent.