DHAKA, Nov 3 (Reuters) - Bangladesh's foreign exchange reserves hit a record high of $17.35 billion in October on the back of rising exports and slower imports, the central bank said on Sunday.
Reserves at the end of last month were up from $16.15 billion the previous month, when they slipped for the first time since June, and were higher than $12.34 billion in the same month the previous year.
The reserves are enough to cover more than five months of imports.
Rising exports, the slow pace of imports and steady remittances from Bangladeshis working overseas have helped build reserves, a senior central bank official said.
Bangladesh's exports in July-September increased 21 percent from a year earlier to $7.6 billion, boosted by stronger clothing sales, as the low-cost country retains its allure for cost-crunching global retailers despite deadly accidents.
The country's $20 billion garment industry, which supplies many Western brands, has been under a spotlight after a series of deadly incidents including the collapse of a building housing factories in April that killed more than 1,130 people.
However, economic growth is expected to slow to less than 6 percent in the year to June 2014 from 6 percent the previous year because of political uncertainties and turmoil ahead of elections due in January.
(Reporting by Ruma Paul) Keywords: BANGLADESH RESERVES/
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