Business

Pakistan’s trade deficit widens to historic high

ISLAMABAD: The trade deficit of the country has widened to a historic level in first nine months of the current fiscal year (FY2016-17) by showing enormous increment in the country’s imports and reduction in its exports, ARY News reported.

The country’s trade imbalance has reportedly surged to $23.4 billion during July to March (FY2016-17) from $16.8 billion of the corresponding period of last fiscal year (FY2015-16), showing an increase of 38.8 percent.

In light of Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS)’s data, the imports increased to $38.5 billion during the first nine months of current FY2016-17 from $32.4 billion of corresponding period, showing 18.67 percent increase in imports. Contrary to it, the country’s exports were slashed by 3.06 percent to $15.1 billion from $15.6 billion of the same period last fiscal year.

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) had observed that the current account deficit is expected to reach 2.9 percent of GDP in FY2016-17 owing to a higher trade balance, in part reflecting increased imports of capital goods and energy and stagnant remittances. “The current account deficit is projected to widen to equal 2.1 percent of GDP in FY2017. The deficit increased to $4.7 billion in the first seven months of FY2017, almost double the $2.5 billion deficit in the same period of FY2016.

However, the country’s exports have started showing a growth due to the government’s incentive package worth of Rs 180 billion. The PBS data showed that Pakistan’s exports have enhanced by 3.92 percent to $1.8 billion in March 2017 from $1.7 billion of March 2016. Similarly, the imports also recorded an increase of 41.22 percent and reached to $5 billion in March 2017 from $3.5 billion in the same period of the last year. Therefore, the trade deficit recorded at $3.7 billion in March 2017 as against $1.81 billion of March 2016 showing a growth of 77.34 percent.

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