Gross domestic product (GDP) has grown by 4 per cent in real terms in the financial year to 30 June 1994, preliminary government figures show.

This is markedly better than the 2.3 per cent growth achieved in the previous year, but falls short of the 6.5 per cent annual growth target included in the structural adjustment programme agreed with the IMF last November.

The main reason for the failure to achieve the IMF target was a fall in production of key agricultural crops, in particular cotton and wheat, due to bad weather, officials say.

Government figures released at the end of May also show that the trade deficit decreased by more than 50 per cent to $1,520 million in the 10 months to April 1994, compared with $2,360 million for the corresponding period a year earlier.

The drop is attributed to a lower level of industrial investment, reflected in a fall in machinery imports, and to a cut in the oil import bill.

Total imports fell by 13 per cent to $6,970 million. Exports dropped 3 per cent to $5,450 million. A 69 per cent downturn in raw cotton sales, by far the largest foreign exchange earner, was partly offset by an 8 per cent growth in yarn exports.