Pakistan’s trade deficit widened by 133 percent year-over-year amid an ongoing surge in imports.
The trade deficit swelled to $4.06 billion in August 2021 from $1.74 billion in the same month last year, according to provisional data.
The country’s trade balance deteriorated during the last year as imports spiked and exports struggled to keep up.
Imports grew by 89.9 percent to $6.31 billion in August 2021 from $3.32 billion in August 2020. On a monthly basis, the imports increased by 12.7 percent.
According to provisional trade figures, imports of the first two months (July-August) of 2021-22 reached $11.911 billion as compared to $6.994 billion in the corresponding period of 2020-21, up by 70 percent.
The Adviser for Commerce and Investment, Abdul Razak Dawood, told a national daily that the growth of the imports was driven by the industrial sector’s rising demand for raw materials and capital goods.
He added that the surge in the prices of oil also contributed to the high import bill during a global spike in the demand for energy.
Exports rose by 42.5 percent to $2.26 billion in August 2021 from $1.58 billion in the same month last year. On a monthly basis, they fell by 3.54 percent.
The export figures were short of the government’s monthly target of $2.4 billion for the month by $143 million.
Dawood tweeted yesterday that the growth of the exports had been affected by the delays in shipments caused by heavy rains.
In July 2021, the trade gap had widened by 85.53 percent year-over-year (YoY) to $3.10 billion.