ISLAMABAD - The services trade deficit during first five months of the year 2018-19 has witnessed a whopping decline of 35.4 percent as compared to the same period of previous year.

The services trade deficit contracted to US $ 1.432 billion in Jul-Nov 2018 from US $ 2.216 billion in same  period of the year 2017, according to latest data released by Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS).

The exports of services during the period under review increased by 1.39 percent to US $ 2.17 billion against the exports worth of US $2.14 billion, whereas the imports of services plunged by 17.33 percent to US $ 3.6 percent in Jul-Nov 2018 from US $ 4.357 billion worth of imports recorded during same period of the year 2017.

On year-on-year basis, the services trade deficit also shrunk by 40.33 percent as the imports fell by 23.18 percent while the exports recorded a nominal decrease of 0.23 percent during November 2018 as  compared to same month of the year 2017.

According to data, the services trade deficit contracted to US $ 333 million in November 2018 from  US $ 558.07 million in same month of the preceding year. Similarly the imports of services trade declined to US $749 million in the corresponding month compared  to same month of the year 2017 whereas the export went down from US $416.97 million in November 2017 to  US $ 416.00 million in November 2018.

It may be added that the overall trade deficit of the country during first five half of current fiscal year also decreased by 5.07 percent to US $16.821 billion against the trade deficit of US $17.72 billion in same period  of the preceding year.

The country's exports increased by 2.19 percent to US $11.216 billion in July-December (2018-19)  from US $10.976 billion during same period of previous fiscal year.

Whereas the imports fell by 2.29 percent to US $28.037 billion from US $28.7 billion in July-December  (2017-18), the data added.