Trade deficit contracts by 13.02 percent to $23.67 billion in nine months

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s trade deficit has contracted by 13.02 percent during first nine months (July – March) 2018/2019 due to significant decline in import bill in the same period, according to trade data released by Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS) on Wednesday.

The trade deficit shrank to $23.67 billion during first nine months of current fiscal year as compared with the deficit of $27.21 billion in the corresponding period of the last fiscal year.

The import bill during the first nine months was declined by 8 percent to $40.75 billion as compared with $44.28 billion in the same period of the last fiscal year.

Experts said that the imposition of regulatory duty on luxury and non-essential items during the last budget and followed in the supplementary budget helped in curtailing import growth.

However, growth in exports was remained flat. The exports were at $17.08 billion during the period under review as compared with $17.06 billion in the same period of the last fiscal year.

The import bill sharply declined by 21 percent in the month of March 2019 to $4.15 billion as compared with $5.25 billion in the same month of the last fiscal year.

On the other hand the exports also fell by 11.13 percent in the month under review. The exports exhibited decline of 11.13 percent decline to $1.98 billion in March 2019 as compared with $2.28 billion in the same month of last year.

The reduction in import bill in March 2019 resulted in narrowed trade deficit for the month. The trade deficit was contracted by 28.07 percent to $2.17 billion in March 2019 as compared with $3.02 billion in March 2018.

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