Pakistan’s trade deficit rose to historic $23.385 billion during the first nine months (July-March 2017) of the current fiscal year, up by 38.8 percent from $16.848 billion for the same period a year before, according to Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS).
Provisional trade data released by the PBS Tuesday showed a decline of 3.06 percent in exports during July-March 2017 with exports contracting to $15.119 billion in the first nine months of the current fiscal year as compared to $15.597 billion for the same period of last fiscal year.
However, imports increased to $38.504 billion in July-March 2017 as compared to $32.445 billion for the same period of last fiscal year, showing an increase of 18.67 percent.
Analysts say that increase in trade deficit is not a good omen for the country and may create balance of payment problems with looming repayment of foreign debt.
On the other hand, the government’s earnings have been on decline and cannot support the balance of payment position.
The analysts say that increase in export and Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) is critical to support the balance of payment and meet the financial requirements of the country.
Trade deficit increased to $3.208 billion in March 2017, up by 77.34 percent from $1.809 billion for the same month a year ago. An increase of 3.62 percent was noted in the exports in March 2017 while increase in imports was substantially high, 41.22 percent. Exports have decreased to $1.801 billion in March 2017 from $1.738 billion for the same month a year before while imports have increased to $5.009 billion from $3.547 billion.
Trade deficit in March 2017 was recorded at $3.208 billion, which was 15.35 percent higher from $2.781 billion for the previous month of February 2017.
An increase of 9.95 percent in exports and 13.35 percent in imports was recorded by the PBS in March 2017 over the previous month. Exports increased to $1.801 billion in March 2017 over $1.638 billion in February 2017 while imports have increased to $5.009 billion as compared to $4.419 billion.
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