Bangladesh\'s overall balance of payments (BoP) surplus reached 2.426 billion U.S. dollars in the first half of the current fiscal year (July 2012-June 2013) due mainly to healthy current account balance, the central bank data showed Wednesday. The Bangladesh Bank (BB) data showed the overall balance of payments recorded a deficit of the South Asian country 998 million U.S. dollars during the same period of the previous fiscal year 2011-12 (July 2011- June 2012). BB current account surplus increased to nearly 1 billion U.S. dollars during the July-December period of the current fiscal which recorded a deficit of 1.65 billion U.S. dollars in the same period of 2011-12 fiscal year. A senior BB official, who preferred to be unnamed, said strong remittances from millions of expatriate Bangladeshis helped offset the impact of the trade shortfall which stood at 3.675 billion U. S. dollars and kept the overall balance of payments in surplus. Apart from remittances, which surged to nearly 10 billion U.S. dollars during the first half of the current fiscal year, a growth of over 17 percent year on year, the central bank official said slump in import bills also contributed. He said Bangladesh\'s overall import orders have been declining since the end of the last year due to political uncertainty over the next parliamentary elections slated for 2014 and the ongoing war crimes trial. The BB data showed flow of net foreign direct investment, which rose to 750 million U.S. dollars in July-December from 698 million U.S. dollars of the corresponding period of previous fiscal, also contributed to the rise in BoP surplus. The central bank of Bangladesh on March 6 said its foreign exchange reserves have topped the 14 billion U.S. dollars mark for the first time following the larger surplus in overall BoP.