KARACHI: Pakistan’s external financial position continues to deteriorate due to rising import bill as the country’s current account deficit rose to $6.4 billion in the first five months of the fiscal year. The deficit was $3.3 billion in the same period last year. The current account deficit has increased to 4.5 percent of gross domestic product (GDP). The deficit increased by $1.4 billion in November. The increase in October was $1.2 billion, mainly due to lower remittances, data issued by the State Bank of Pakistan shows. Trade deficit in November 2017 remained $2.3 billion. Both exports and imports increased to $2.1 billion and $4.4 billion, respectively. The trade deficit in the five months of current fiscal year stood at $12.09 billion. During the period under review, remittances have shown a declining trend in the month of November against October, from $1.6 billion to $1.5 billion, but overall remittance growth shows encouraging signs as inflow in five month increased to $8 billion against 7.9 billion of the last fiscal year. However, due to increasing Chinese investment under the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), foreign direct investment (FDI) continues to grow – from $729 million to over $1.1 billion during 5MFY18. Published in Daily Times, December 21st 2017.