Pakistan trade deficit shrinks by 34pc in first half of 2023-24

Pakistan trade deficit shrinks by 34pc in first half of 2023-24


Import down 16pc, exports up 5pc

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ISLAMABAD (Web Desk) – Amid the routine bad news concerning record-high inflation and interest rates, the shrinking trade deficit is one of the few bright spots, which witnessed a 34.29 per cent decrease in the July-December period of the current fiscal year, the latest official data shows.

The figures released by the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS) say fiscal deficit during the first half of 2023-24 stood $11.148 billion against $16.965bn recorded during the same period of last fiscal year.

It is the declining imports which continue to be the main driver behind the trend thanks to a 16.28pc decrease from $31.209 billion in the corresponding period last fiscal year to the current level of $26.129.

However, this decline also shows lack of industrial activity – establishment of new units or the expansion of existing ones – which itself is a serious problem, meaning there are no avenues for businessmen to develop their enterprises nor job opportunities for the people.

At the same time, Pakistan saw its exports reaching $14.981bn during July-December 2023-24 after going up by 5.17pc when compared to $14.244bn in the same period of the last fiscal year.

Meanwhile, the PBS data, which is released at the start of every month, also show that the trade deficit had shrunk by 13.43pc to $1.702 billion in December 2023 against $1.966 billion in November, as exports jumped by 9.29pc to $2.812bn when compared with the last month’s total of $2.573bn.

However, import in December decreased slightly by 0.55pc to $4.514bn against a volume of $4.539bn in November.