KARACHI: Pakistan’s trade deficit in first quarter of current fiscal slightly fell to $8.86 billion from the $9.01 billion reported in corresponding period of last fiscal, official data showed on Wednesday.The overall trade deficit contracted by 1.61 percent in July-September 2018 period of Fiscal Year 2018-19 (FY19) as compared to the same period of FY18, reported the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS). The overall exports in first three months of FY19 increased by 4.56 percent to $5.39 billion as compared to $ 5.15 billion worth of goods exported in corresponding period of previous fiscal year. Imports in first three months of FY19 went marginally up by 0.63 percent to $ 14.2 billion as against $ 14.17 billion in the same period of FY18.On monthly basis, exports from Pakistan to other countries dropped significantly by 14.35 percent in September 2018 to $1.72 billion as compared to $2.01 billion in August 2018. Similarly, imports in the country witnessed sharp decline in September 2018 to $4.43 billion, plummeting by 11.25 percent as compared to $4.99 billion in the month of August 2018. Trade deficit narrowed by 9.16 percent to $2.70 billion in September 2018 as compared to $ 2.97 billion in August 2018.On yearly basis, during September 2018, the country saw an increase in exports and imports as Pakistan exported $ 1.72 billion worth of goods to the world that was 3.55 percent higher than exports worth of $ 1.66 billion in the same month of last fiscal year. However, imports registered 0.18 percent decline to $ 4.43 billion in the month of September 2018 as compared to $ 4.44 billion imports in corresponding month of FY17. As a result, country’s trade imbalance shrunk by 2.43 percent in September 2018 to $ 2.70 billion, as against $2.77 billion in September 2017.It is important to mention here that the above-mentioned figures were converted into US Dollar on average monthly exchange rate provided by State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) during the said months. The Pakistani rupee continued its downward slide against the US dollar, hitting the all-time low of Rs134 against the green back in the inter-bank market on the other day (09 October, 2018). The exchange rate of Pakistani Rupee against greenback was1$=Rs.124.08 in September, 2018, 1$=Rs.123.78 in August, 2018 and 1$=Rs.105.32 in September, 2017. It indicates that the country is once again marching towards another huge trade deficit, which would further jack up the current account deficit.Published in Daily Times, October 11th 2018.