ISLAMABAD - Pakistan’s trade deficit narrowed by over 3 per cent in first couple of months (July and August) of the ongoing financial year 2013-2014, as exports grew at faster pace than imports during the period under review.

According to the latest figures of Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS) released on Tuesday, the country’s trade imbalance was recorded at $3.3 billion during July-August period of the current financial year 2013-14 as against $3.4 billion of the corresponding period of previous fiscal year 2012-13 (July-August 2012-13), showing decline of 3.07 percent in one year.

The PBS data revealed that exports have grown slightly faster than imports during period under review. Exports rose 3.66 per cent to $4.091 billion during the July-August 2013-14 as compared to $3.946 of the same period of the last year. However, imports marginally enhanced by 0.54 per cent to $7.386 billion in July-August 2013-14 from $7.346 billion a year ago.

It is worth mentioning here that government has set $16.7 billion trade deficit target for the ongoing financial year 2013-2014, as exports are projected at $26.6 billion against the imports of $43.3 billion. However, the government might struggle to restrict trade deficit at $16.7 billion, as imports are expected to increase due to higher prices of oil in international market. Similarly, increase in value of US dollar against Pakistani rupee would make imports more expensive.

The national economy has been grappling with acute energy shortages, which have hit the industrial sector for the last few years, while global demand is also not encouraging. Experts believe that the economy has been losing 1.65 percent of GDP every year due to energy crisis. The most hit hard sector was the textiles sector. Besides, about 20 percent of industrial units are closed or shifted to neighboring countries.

According to the PBS figures, the overall exports growth went down by 4.75 per cent in August 2014 if compared with exports of previous month. The country exported goods worth of $1.996 billion in August 2013 against $2.095 billion of July 2013. Similarly, the imports also reduced by 6.35 per cent in the period under review over last year, as the country imported goods worth of $3.572 billion during August 2013h as compared to $3.814 billion of July 2013.

Therefore, the country’s trade imbalance decreased by 8.31 percent in August 2013. The country’s trade deficit was recoded at $1.576 August 2013 against $1.719 billion of July 2013.

ANNUAL STATISTICS

Meanwhile, according to the PBS figures, exports stood at $1.996 billion in August 2013, which were $1.905 billion in August 2012 and this showed an increase of 4.75 per cent in exports in one year. Imports decreased by 3.07 per cent and were recorded at $3.572 billion in August 2013 against $3.685 billion of August 2012.

The trade deficit for August 2013 against August 2012 decreased by 11.45 percent and was recorded at $1.576 billion.