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Trade deficit increases to $6.5billion as exports fall

Trade deficit increases to $6.5billion as exports fall

ISLAMABAD: The country’s declining exports has further increased trade deficit during the first quarter of current fiscal year.

According to Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS) data, as the gap between Pakistan’s exports and imports has been witnessed to $6.504 billion just from July to September this year as compare to last year’s $4.482 billion, with the growth of 45.11 per cent. Exports declined by 10.16 per cent to $6.015 billion in the corresponding period of ongoing financial year from $6.695 billion of the previous year. However, imports boosted up by 12.01 per cent to $12.519 billion in the period under review from $11.177 billion of previous year.

Experts say that the government, despite getting GSP Plus status from the EU, had badly failed to increase the exports as Pakistan’s exports had registered negative growth in last six months out of nine months since getting GSP Plus status. Even, rupee depreciation against the US dollar also remained useless to improve the exports. The government had predicted a 5.8 per cent growth in exports and 6.2 per cent increase in imports for the financial year 2014-15. Any shortfall in exports and higher imports will cause problems for the government in financing the current account deficit as the current account deficit for this year has been estimated at $2.8 billion of the GDP.

As per PBS data, on month-on-month, exports registered an increase of 14.13pc, as country exported goods worth $2.181 billion in September 2014 as compared to $1.911 billion of August 2014. However, the imports recorded decline of 3.33 per cent, as imports stood at $4.561 billion in September 2014 as compared to $4.718 billion of the August 2014.

Moreover, the PBS suggested that year-on-year exports went down by 16.66pc in September 2014 as against exports of the corresponding month of the last year. Exports were recorded at $2.181 billion in September 2014 as compared to $2.617 billion of September 2013. However, the imports recorded massive increase of 20.31 percent, as imports were registered at $4.561 billion in September 2014 against $3.791 billion of September 2013. Therefore, the trade imbalance was recorded at $2.38 billion in September 2014 as compared to $1.174 billion of September 2014, showing an increase of 102.73 percent.