Trade deficit narrows by 1.25% in July-August

Pakistan’s trade deficit witnessed a decline in the first two months of fiscal year 2018-19, as improved export performance outweighed a modest rise in imports during the same period, Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS) data showed Tuesday.

The PBS reported that the Pakistan economy’s goods deficit narrowed by 1.25 percent in July-August to $6.16 billion as compared to the deficit of $6.245 billion in the corresponding months of the last fiscal year, showing contraction of 1.25 percent.

This marks the first improvement in the Pakistan trade picture and marks the smallest deficit for the economy since July-December of FY15. The import bill increased nominally by 1.01 percent to $9.83 billion during the period under review as compared to $9.73 billion in the corresponding period of the last fiscal year.

The exports were recorded at $3.66 billion during the first two months of the current fiscal year as compared to $3.487 billion in the corresponding months of the last fiscal year.

Economists were of the view that the shrinkage in trade deficit would bode well for the Pakistan’s GDP growth.

The value of total trade has been choppy over the past several months, but the general upward trend remains. They added that the future of trade performance would largely hinge on trade policy.

Published in Daily Times, September 12th 2018.