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Exports, imports witness decline in March 2020, reveals PBS data

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s exports have witnessed an over 15 percent decline in the month of March, plunging to United States Dollar (USD) 1.8 billion as compared to $2.14 in February 2020 amid coronavirus outbreak, ARY NEWS reported citing data provided by Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS).

The imports also witnessed a 21 percent decline during March 2020, and fell from $4.18 billion in February to $3.29 billion in the previous month.

The trade deficit witnessed a decline of upto 27 percent during March after it declined from $2.04 billion in February to $1.49 billion.

Despite fall in exports in March, the overall exports during the nine-months of the ongoing fiscal year witnessed a 2.2 percent increase and stood at $17.45 billion.

The imports witnessed 14.42 percent decline during first nine months of the fiscal year and remained at $34.81 billion.

Trade deficit also showed a similar downward trend and witnessed a decline of 26.45 percent and stood at $17.36 billion, the PBS data revealed.

Earlier in the day, Asian Development Bank’s newest report carried some positive news for the country with the money lending body hinting signs of progress for Pakistan’s economy in the year 2021.

Economic growth in Pakistan is expected to slow to 2.6% this year due to ongoing stabilization efforts, slower growth in agriculture and the impact of the COVID-19 outbreak, before recovering to 3.2% in 2021 according to the Asian Development Bank’s (ADB) latest annual flagship economic publication, Asian Development Outlook (ADO) 2020.

Read More: PM Imran Khan says coronavirus will destroy economy of developing countries

Pakistan’s strong and decisive policy measures have started to yield positive results in reversing macroeconomic imbalances and narrowing current account deficits,” said ADB Country Director for Pakistan Xiaohong Yang.

“Although Pakistan’s economy is in better shape than before, the nation needs to work together to tackle the new challenges posed by COVID-19—including uncertain short term growth prospects—and its related socioeconomic repercussions. The government’s emergency package and extensive use of Ehsaas will be vital to blunting the detrimental impacts of the pandemic, particularly on the poor and vulnerable.”

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