KARACHI: Declining exports, workers' remittances and foreign exchange inflows continue to dent Pakistan's balance of payments as the current account deficit swelled by $5.4 billion in the eight months of current fiscal year 2016-17.
According to statistics issued by State Bank of Pakistan (SBP), the current account deficit was recorded at $5.47 billion in the period of July 2016 to February 2017 as compared to $2.48 billion deficit recorded in the similar period of the last fiscal year.
During the last eight months of the current fiscal the exports declined to $14.05 billion against $14.3 billion worth of goods exported in the same period last year. The data shows that the imports increased to $29.4 billion during the same period. Thus the balance of trade in goods recorded at $15.3 billion against $12.13 billion of 8 months of last fiscal year.
The services sector's exports also suffered as exports were recorded at $3.5 billion while imports stood at $5.5 billion. Services sector's deficit in the last fiscal was $1.9 billion. The accumulated balance of goods and services stood at $17.3 billion against $13.9 billion of the same period last year.
Another major blow to the balance of payment was workers' remittance inflows which are continuously falling. The remittances inflows during 8 months of current year dropped to $12.3 billion from $12.6 billion of the same period of last fiscal year.
The current account, broadest measure of trade, covers flows of goods, services and investment. The current account is an important indicator of economy's health.