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Business

TAS
Tariq Ahmed Saeedi
October 12, 2017

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Trade deficit narrows 9.33pc to $2.8bln in Sept

Trade deficit narrows 9.33pc to $2.8bln in Sept

KARACHI: Trade deficit narrowed 9.33 percent to $2.798 billion in September over August as exports fell 10.24 percent to $1.675 billion, while imports dropped 9.67 percent to $4.473 billion during the last month, official data showed on Wednesday.

In August, trade deficit amounted to $3.086 billion as exports fetched $1.866 billion in foreign revenue, while imports stood at $4.952 billion, Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS) figures showed.

Trade deficit, however, widened 21.97 percent to $2.798 billion in September over the same period a year ago as imports surged 16.73 percent to $4.473 billion, while exports increased 8.91 percent to $1.675 billion during the last month.

In September 2016, trade deficit was recorded at $2.294 billion with exports of $1.538 billion and imports of $3.832 billion. PBS data further showed that trade deficit increased 29.75 percent to $9.088 billion during the first quarter of the current fiscal 2017/18 as compared to the same period a year earlier.

Exports jumped 10.84 percent to $5.172 billion in July-September, while imports soared 22.19 percent to $14.260 billion. Trade deficit was registered at $7.004 billion during the corresponding period a year ago with exports of $4.666 billion and imports of $11.670 billion.

Exports sector started to show recovery after a constant decline in the recent past with the government addressing the sector’s key concern over liquidity crunch. Government is releasing stuck refunds of the exporters, while funds under the Rs180 billion worth of incentives package are also disbursed to encourage exporters.

The economy, however, needs a rise in foreign inflows in shape of exports and foreign direct investment to reduce current account deficit.   PBS figures further showed that trade deficit in services fell 1.42 percent to $487.90 million in August over the previous month as exports increased 0.64 percent month-on-month to $409.44 million, while imports decreased 0.49 percent to $897.34 million.

Services sector, which accounts for more than 60 percent of the economy, comprises of finance and insurance, transport and storage, wholesale and retail trade, public administration and defence.

Services trade deficit sharply widened 53.95 percent to $487.90 million in August over the corresponding month a year ago as exports inched down 4.29 percent year-on-year to $409.44 million, whereas imports surged 20.5 percent to $897.34 million.

In July-August, trade deficit in services amounted to $982.81 million as compared to $661.36 million in the same period a year ago, depicting a spread of 48.60 percent. Exports of services increased 4.94 percent to $816.27 million during the first two months of the fiscal 2017/18, while imports rose 25.01 percent to $1.799 billion.

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