Trade deficit narrows by 15.33pc to $31.82 billion in 2018/2019

ISLAMABAD: The country’s trade deficit has narrowed by 15.33 percent during fiscal year 2018/2019 owing to decline in import bill, according to data released by Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS) on Friday.

The trade deficit declined to $31.82 billion in last fiscal year as compared with $37.58 billion in the preceding fiscal year.

The decline in trade deficit can be attributed to 10 percent decline in total import bill. The imports declined to $54.79 billion during fiscal year 2018/2019 as compared with $60.79 billion in the preceding fiscal year.

However, exports failed to exhibited growth despite several incentives announced by the government in the past.

The exports fell by one percent to $22.97 billion during the last fiscal year as compared with $23.21 billion in the preceding fiscal year.

In the month of June 2019 the exports fell sharply by 18.32 percent comparing the previous month. The exports were $1.71 billion in June 2019 as $2.1 billion in the month of May 2019.

On the other hand imports also fell by 13.45 percent during the month under review. The imports were at $4.36 billion in June 2019 as compared with $5.04 billion in the month of May 2019.

Analysts said that the decline in both imports and exports were due to budgetary measures announced in the month of June 2019.

They said that the government had taken very harsh measures to generate revenue for the fiscal year 2019/2020. The elimination of zero-rate of sales tax negatively impacted the exports. On the other hand the rise in import duties and taxes also discouraged the foreign purchases.

The analysts further said that the fall in rupee value also another major reason for decline in both exports and imports during the month of June 2019.

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