Trade deficit narrows by 11 percent in eight months

ISLAMABAD: The trade deficit has narrowed by 11 percent during first eight months of current fiscal year owing decline in import bill, Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS) said on Tuesday.

The trade deficit shrank to $21.52 billion during July – February 2018/2019 as compared with the deficit of $24.19 billion in the corresponding period of the last fiscal year.

The import bill of the country was declined by 6.13 percent to $36.63 billion during first eight months of current fiscal year as compared with $39.03 billion in the same period of the last fiscal year.

However, exports posted growth of 2 percent to $15.11 billion during the period under review as compared with $14.83 billion in the corresponding period of the last fiscal year.

Experts said that the import bill of the country declined owing to several restrictions imposed by the government including condition of advance payment and regulatory duty on luxury and non-essential items.

On the other side exports failed to reflect the incentives granted to manufacturing and export sector by the government.

The trade deficit reduced sharply in February 2019 to $2.29 billion from the deficit of $2.86 billion in February 2018, showing decline of 20.12 percent.

In the same period imports fell by 12.26 percent to $4.18 billion as compared with $4.76 billion in February 2018.

The export growth was flat during the month to $1.88 billion as compared with $1.89 billion.

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