Pakistan’s trade deficit crosses $20 billion

Pakistan’s trade deficit crosses $20 billion

Pakistan’s trade deficit news

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s trade deficit surged to a record high of $20.2 billion during the eight months of the ongoing fiscal year, an amount $5.2 billion higher than the deficit recorded in the comparative period of the previous year.

The trade deficit, difference between exports and imports, increased to $20.2 billion during July-February, reported the Pakistan Bureaus of Statistics Saturday.

The increasing deficit may expose vulnerabilities of Pakistan’s economy. Exports have been witnessing a falling trend since July 2014. However, imports rebounded which was reflected in higher volumes of machinery, food products, transport, agriculture, chemicals and textile groups.

The deficit is close to the $20.5-billion target that the Finance Ministry had fixed for fiscal year 2016-17, ending on June 30.

Rapid decline in exports and skyrocketing imports are the reasons behind the deficit, the highest level recorded in the first eight months of any fiscal year in the country’s history.

The trade deficit during the first eight months of this fiscal year was 34.3 percent higher than the gap recorded in the same period of the last fiscal year.

Exports downed 3.9 percent to only $13.3 billion during July-February, $541 million less than the exports made in the comparative period of last year. In comparison, the import bill increased 16% to $33.5 billion in the same period. In absolute terms, the import bill was $4.6 billion higher than the previous year.

On an annual basis, the trade deficit was alarmingly 87.9 percent more than the comparative period. The trade deficit last month increased to $2.8 billion, which in absolute terms was $1.3 billion more than the deficit recorded in February 2016.

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