The World Bank released a report on Afghanistan on Wednesday saying that the headline year-on-year inflation in November 2022 decelerated to 9.1 percent from its peak of 18.3 percent in July 2022.
“The 3.9 percentage point Year-to-Year decline between November 2022 and December 2022 can be explained by a drop in inflation of fuel (8 percentage points), wheat (5.1 percentage points), sugar (2.7 percentage points), cooking oil (2.2 percentage points), bread (1.5 percentage points), etc…,” the report said.
The report also said the exchange rate remains substantially stable against major currencies.
“The AFN has slightly depreciated against the USD (by 1.5 percent), Euro (by 1.2 percent), and Chinese yuan (by 0.2 percent) between end-June and to end of December 2022 but appreciated against the Pakistan rupee (24.8 percent) and Indian rupee (2.6 percent),” the report reads.
According to the World Bank, the central bank (Da Afghanistan Bank) is undertaking occasional auctions in the forex market, but no data is available on the central bank website to confirm the frequency and auctioned amount.
The World Bank referred to Afghanistan’s revenue, saying that the revenue collection in the first nine months of the fiscal year 2022 remains strong. However, the country still relies on its custom border revenues.
“Overall revenue collection reached $ 1.54 billion between March 22, 2022, and December 21, 2022, in line with 2020 results,” the report added.
Between January and November 2022, Afghanistan exported $1.7 billion worth of goods, compared to US$ 0.9 billion and US$ 0.8 billion for the full years 2021 and 2020.
Pakistan, with 65 percent, and India with 20 percent, are the two main export destinations.
The major exports include vegetable products, mineral products, and textiles.
Current import data was unavailable, however, the Jan-June 2022 data shows that Afghanistan imported $2.9 billion of goods. The World Bank puts the rate of imports as 23 percent to Iran, 16 percent to Pakistan, and 14 percent to China. “Major imports include mineral products (24 percent), vegetable products (20 percent), and textiles (9 percent) – collectively contributing 54 percent of total imports,” the report said.
According to the report, the demands for both skilled and unskilled labor has been declining since the beginning of the winter.
The cash withdrawal of pre-August 2021 deposits from banks continue to be regulated.
“While most individual depositors can access their deposits within the allowed limits, selected financial institutions face difficulties honoring withdrawals,” the report said.
The report said that the salaries of civil servants are reported to be paid on time for both men and women.