KARACHI: SBP data revealed that country’s current account deficit in the first three months of 2014-15 remained $1.33 billion, expanding by $62 million as compared to the same three-month period of the preceding fiscal year.
As a percentage of the gross domestic product (GDP), the current account deficit stood at 1.8% in July-September as compared to 2.1% in the same period of the last fiscal year.
In September alone, the current account balance recorded a surplus of $3 million. In contrast, it remained negative in August with a deficit of $560 million.
Pakistan exported goods worth $5.96 billion in July-September against exports totaling $6.27 billion in the same period of 2013-14, reflecting a year-on-year decrease of over 5%.
The value of goods exported in September increased by $288 million on a month-on-month basis to $2.17 billion, which is 15.27% higher than the exports of $1.88 billion recorded in August.
Pakistan’s total imports of goods in July-September were $11.82 billion as opposed to $10.57 billion in the comparable period of 2013-14, which means an annual increase of 11.78%.
On a month-on-month basis, however, the value of goods imported remained almost flat, as Pakistan imported goods valuing $3.91 billion in September.
Balance of trade in both goods and services at the end of the first quarter of 2014-15 clocked up at -$6.3 billion against the deficit of $5.19 billion recorded in the same period of the preceding fiscal year.
Workers’ remittances remained $4.69 billion in July-September, up 19.5% from the same three months of the last fiscal year when they totaled $3.92 billion. Workers’ remittances in September increased $768 million from the preceding month, registering a rise of almost 30% on a month-on-month basis.
The country’s balance of payment (BoP) position weakened in 2013-14, as foreign exchange reserves held by the central bank decreased to only $2.8 billion in February.
With an import cover for less than a month, a low level of foreign exchange reserves prompted federal authorities to force exporters to bring their dollar-denominated revenues into the rupees before the stipulated limit of 120 days.
SBP-held reserves improved following alleged intervention from policymakers into the foreign exchange market, resulting in a year-on-year increase of more than 50% by the end of the fiscal year in June. SBP-held reserves currently stand at $8.8 billion.