Trade Deficit Increases 40% to Historic $26.55 Billion

Pakistan’s trade deficit rose to historic $26.55 billion during the first ten months (July-April 2017) of the current fiscal year, up by 40.12 percent from $18.95 billion for the same period a year before, according to Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS).

Provisional trade data released by the PBS showed a decline of 2.29 percent in exports during July-April 2017 with exports contracting to $16.918 billion in the first ten months of the current fiscal year as compared to $17.314 billion for the same period of last fiscal year.

However, imports increased to $43.473 billion in July-April 2017 as compared to $36.265 billion for the same period of last fiscal year, showing an increase of 19.88 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 thus may not 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 $3.193 billion in April 2017, up by 51.69 percent from $2.105 billion for the same month a year ago. An increase of 5.19 percent was noted in the exports in April 2017 while increase in imports was substantially high, 30.80 percent.

Trade deficit in April 2017 was recorded at $3.193 billion, which was 0.47 percent less from $3.208 billion for the previous month of March 2017.

An increase of 0.22 percent in exports and decrease of the same percent in imports was recorded by the PBS in April 2017 over the previous month. Exports increased to $1.805 billion in April 2017 over $1.801 billion in March 2017 while imports have decreased to $4.998 billion as compared to $5.009 billion.


  • On one hand you’d read a propaki article displaying Pakistan in all it’s glory, competing with the world and moving in the right direction while on the other, on the verge of bankruptcy lol.

    This is what Pakistan’s real situation ACTUALLY is, tbh. A growling tension between wins and loses.

    • When country has huge projects in execution phase, import of machinary for such projects will impact and imbalance will certainly be there.

      Simple logic, either pay taxes (not just on mobile recharge and grocery) or accept it for the sack of projects. Some can close their eyes and repeat those same lines, for them blaming is fun and should continue.

  • well pakistans stupid policies and lack of facilitation for business demotivated businesses to invest in the country ! which equals to increase imports

  • Kindly reduce the Taxes & omitted some additional taxes in your next budget :
    Above increasing main 50% zaida ho jayega :
    Sale Zaida to Revenue Zaida to Profit Zaida…

    • Your godfather is so clever that even Chinese got convinced and investing 55 billion $ in Pakistan.

      Should I expect your next reply will be, Pakistan is now becoming Chinese colony ;)

      • That money will be completely saved in Panama! Godfather can convince Chinese of that as well!

      • Yes, we are. If we take Chinese money, we have to do what they say. What do you think, we can get financing from their banks and then not pay back loans? We have no way to pay back their loans. So we will need to make undertable deals.

        Same way we have to make deals with Saudis after they helped us with nuclear program.

        • @Nawaz_Arshad:disqus
          Really? But I am wondering if that money “will be saved in Panama” then from which money Chinese themselves are building infrastructure, who is paying to FWO/contractors/for civil works?

          @shahidsaleem:disqus

          So if Saudis helped us with nuclear program we got something in return? Who does deals without any gain in return? So Chinese should not do it and we can do it from the taxes less than 10% of us are paying? What is the point?

          • I like how you ask “Who does deals without any gain in return?” You know what, let’s read the deals made with the Chinese for CPEC. Let’s read all of them.

            Oh wait…

            They’re not made public.

            Wonder why…

            I don’t get your point about taxes. Do you think we can pay off our imbalance in debt which is now GROWING at record levels with taxes???

            As for Saudi ARabia I would ask you to look over recent news about Saudis wanting Pakistan to join their coalition against Yemen. Look at how much pressure was put on us. In the end our former Chief ended up leading their coalition.

            I would ask you to look at Saudi actions towards us during Zardari years. Zardari was more pro-UAE and ignored Saudi demands, so we did lose out especially at a time when oil prices were very high.

  • This trade deficit is being balanced by Remittances and FDI. This is why Foreign Reserves and exchange remain almost same. Most pf Pakistanis are unable to produce anything which rest of the world wants to import. Hence this trade deficit. Our biggest export are Pakistanis themselves which once exported keep on sending money back :)

    • Remittances are going down. Now what?

      Most of government policies DO NOT enable us to set up industries to produce what world wants. The only possibility is IT sector where you don’t need to make factories or import expensive machines. You just need computers, electricity, and internet.

      • Remittances are going down due to low oil prices in Gulf. But FDI is increasing due to CPEC and other countries. Forex trade need to be balanced otherwise rupee price will go down to compensate it. I have seen Pakistanis complain all the time that it is someone ELSE which does not allow them SOMETHING. If 200 million people are unable to do something, they should only blame themselves!

        • Well said.
          Pakistani qaum can do one thing very well and that is blaming. Any government is given literally 6 months before their media trial starts, people start calling them “choor” and that interestingly without any proof even most of the time. If projects start from foreign funding as governments in Pakistan mostly have not sufficient funds to start and complete mega projects..even then we have issues. If people of Pakistan aren’t paying taxes even after all or any effort from the government this is even government’s problem for which again government should be blamed. If people of Pakistan steal electricity and in return government can’t pay to IPPs again it is government’s problem.

          People in opposition who criticize governments actually know whole situation but they betray people hiding facts only for the sake of their political agendas.

          • Well, I think in this particular case, Panama case has shown that the leaders in charge right now are doing something shady, definitely shady.

            I for one am not investing more money until the results of the JTI.

        • Have you tried to set up a factory or engineering outfit that exports things to the rest of the world? Do you know the amount of red tape and taxes and hurdles placed by State Bank that make it harder to get money for your sold products? Do you know about the bribes your transporters will have to pay to get your product to the ports? No? Then keep blaming the citizens of this great nation for not trying. Your opinion is worthless.

          Secondly, you are wrong about remittances due to low oil. They are practically doing a lot of get rid of foreign workers in places in Saudi Arabia. It is now much much harder to get immigration to Europe and US. When Pakistanis leave such countries, their remittances drop permanently. And that is what is happening. You cannot balance out drop in remittances with CPEC inflow. What about all the LOANS we’ve taken for CPEC, do you think we’ll never pay them back?

          • CPEC seems like a double-edged sword. I’m surprised that no one is interested in questioning how we will be paying off those huge loans in the future.

          • I export hi-tech to other countries, and a lot of technology in it is developed in Pakistan. Biggest problem I have faced are the Pakistani bright engineers who have zero loyalty with their country and are ready to run out of country in search of greener pastures abroad at first chance. Then when we sit over a tea abroad, they moan over incapability of Pakistanis to produce any hi-tech!
            Talented Pakistanis unable to go abroad are a bright chance for country. It means they will now produce hi-tech for Pakistan and also export it.
            BTW, we deal a lot with transporters from ports and no bribe is involved. Just the freight cost. But you are right about bureaucracy.
            Pakistan took huge loans for Tarbela and Mangla dams in 60s. Were those wrong decisions? Was Pakistan unable to pay back them?

            • I have met with people who have to transfer hospital equipment from Karachi upwards. The transport companies have to pay bribes to fuedals to pass through their territories. I have even heard retired Army officers complain about such people after being posted to southern Punjab and other areas.

              Pakistan in early 1960s was different from Pakistan in 2010s. It did not have the economy-destroying events of 1970s nationalisation to deal with, nor political and social instability of 1990s, and it did not have an economy cratered after 1965 war.

            • Oh, and I should add: the figures from official records do not show exports going up. So if exports are not going up, then were will money come from to pay back loans?

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