Pakistan Sees $270 Million Fall in Foreign Exchange Reserves

Pakistan Sees $270 Million Fall in Foreign Exchange Reserves – In a concerning development for the economy, the foreign exchange reserves of Pakistan have experienced a significant decline.

According to data released by the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) on Thursday, the country’s foreign exchange reserves fell by $270 million in the week ending May 24, 2024, bringing the total down to $14.315 billion.

This marks a decrease from the $14.585 billion recorded just a week earlier, on May 17, 2024. The SBP’s report indicates that the official reserves held by the central bank itself dropped by $63 million, decreasing from $9.157 billion to $9.094 billion. The SBP attributed this decline primarily to external payments made by Pakistan.

The situation with commercial banks also contributed significantly to the overall reduction in reserves. The foreign exchange reserves held by these banks fell by $207 million, decreasing from $5.428 billion to $5.221 billion over the same period. This substantial drop in reserves highlights ongoing economic challenges and the pressure on Pakistan’s financial system.

The decline in foreign exchange reserves is a critical indicator of the country’s economic health, reflecting its ability to manage foreign debt and finance imports. A reduction in reserves can limit the central bank’s capacity to stabilize the currency and meet external obligations, potentially leading to a weaker rupee and increased inflationary pressures.

Pakistan has been grappling with economic instability, and the latest figures underscore the urgency for robust fiscal policies and external support to shore up the economy. The government has been negotiating with international financial institutions to secure funding and support to bolster the reserves and ensure economic stability.

The drop in foreign exchange reserves comes at a time when Pakistan is striving to address its balance of payments crisis and improve its financial standing. The reduction highlights the need for effective measures to enhance exports, attract foreign investment, and manage external debt more efficiently.

As Pakistan navigates these economic challenges, the focus remains on stabilizing the reserves to avoid further financial stress. The coming weeks will be crucial in determining the measures the government and the SBP will adopt to reverse the downward trend and restore confidence in the country’s economic management.