Pakistan Posts $619 Million Current Account Surplus in March 2024

Pakistan Posts $619 Million Current Account Surplus in March 2024

Karachi, April 22, 2024 – In a remarkable economic turn, Pakistan has registered a current account surplus of $619 million for the month of March 2024, as announced by the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) on Monday.

This figure not only underscores a robust month but also shows an improvement from the $537 million surplus recorded in March 2023.

The latest data reveal that this surplus played a crucial role in substantially narrowing the current account deficit for the first nine months of the fiscal year 2023-24 to just $508 million, compared to a much larger deficit of $4.05 billion witnessed during the same period in the last fiscal year.

Further analysis provided by the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS) indicates a significant reduction in the country’s trade deficit, which has contracted by 25 percent during the first nine months (July – March) of the current fiscal year. The trade deficit now stands at $17.03 billion, down from $22.69 billion recorded during the corresponding months of the previous fiscal year.

A notable decline in imports has contributed to this improvement. The import bill decreased by 8.65 percent, falling to $39.94 billion during the period of July – March 2023-24, down from $43.72 billion during the same period the year before. On the flip side, the country’s exports have shown a robust growth of 9 percent, climbing to $22.91 billion compared to $21.04 billion in the previous fiscal year.

This narrowing of the trade deficit reflects ongoing efforts to address imbalances in Pakistan’s trade dynamics. Despite these positive developments, challenges remain, particularly in terms of the country’s heavy reliance on imports and the urgent need to diversify and enhance export sectors.

Moreover, remittances from Pakistanis abroad have shown a modest increase of one percent, reaching $21.036 billion compared to $20.845 billion in the first nine months of the previous fiscal year. The steady growth in remittances is pivotal for Pakistan’s economy, as these funds are a crucial source of foreign exchange reserves and play a significant role in stabilizing the country’s external accounts. The increase in remittances not only demonstrates the resilience of the Pakistani diaspora but also signals a level of trust and confidence in the nation’s economic policies and stability.

The economic indicators suggest that the government’s strategies to manage imports and stimulate exports are yielding tangible benefits. Continued focus on enhancing the export portfolio through diversification and moving up the value chain in international markets is likely crucial for sustained economic stability.

As Pakistan navigates the complexities of global economic dynamics, the marked improvement in its current account and the overall trade balance could provide a stronger foundation for economic growth and resilience. However, maintaining this momentum will require persistent efforts in reforming key economic sectors, optimizing trade agreements, and fostering a conducive environment for foreign investments and business expansion.