ISLAMABAD - Services trade deficit shrank by 29.11 percent during the first half of the current fiscal year compared to the corresponding period of last year.

The services trade deficit during July-December (2018-19) was recorded at $1.945 billion against the deficit of $2.744 billion during July-December (2017-18), showing decline of 29.11 percent, official data revealed.

The services imports into the country during the period under review decreased by 15.97 percent to $4.545 billion from $5.409 billion last year, according to latest data of PBS.

On the other hand, the services exports from the country also witnessed negative growth of 2.42 percent during the period. The services exports during the first six months of current fiscal year were recorded at $2.599 against the exports of $2.664 billion during the same period of last year.

Meanwhile, on year-on-year basis, the services imports into the country reduced by 16.20 percent by declining from $1.052 billion in December 2017 to $0.881 billion in Dec 2018.

The exports from the country also decreased by 11.84 percent by going down from $0.524 billon during December 2017 to $0.462 billion in December 2018. Based on the figures, the deficit during the month was recorded at $0.419 billion against the deficit of $0.528 billion in December 2017, showing decline of 20.53 percent on year-on-year basis.

On the other hand, the imports on month-on-month basis, increased by 17.32 percent in December 2018 when compared to the imports of $0.751 billion in November 2018.

The exports also increased by 20.14 percent in December 2018 when compared to the exports of $0.384 billion in November 2018, according to the data.

It is pertinent to mention here that the country's merchandize trade deficit plunged by 9.66 percent during July-January (2018-19) as the deficit contracted by over $2 billion to $19.264 billion in the period under review against the deficit of $21.324 billion recorded during same period of the previous year.

The exports during the period of current fiscal year also witnessed an increase of 2.24 percent to $13.231 billion from $12.941 billion during last year while the imports declined by 5.17 percent to $32.495 billion from $34.265 billion during first seven months of current fiscal year, PBS reported.