ISLAMABAD    -    The country’s services trade deficit narrowed by 41.38 percent during the first three quarters of the current fiscal year compared to the corresponding period of last year.

The services trade deficit during July-March (2018-19) was recorded at US$ 2.532 billion against the deficit of US$ 4.320 billion during July-March (2017-18), showing decline of 41.38 percent, official data revealed.

The services’ imports into the country during the period under review decreased by 21.81 percent to US$6.479 billion from US$ 8.286 billion last year, according to latest data of Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS).

Compare to imports, the exports of services witnessed a nominal negative growth of 0.5 percent during the period. The services exports during the first three quarters of current fiscal year were recorded at US$ 3.946 billion against the exports of US$ 3.966 billion during the same period of last year.

Meanwhile, on year-on-year basis, the services imports into the country reduced by 17.47 percent by declining from US$ 0.855 billion in March 2018 to US$ 0.705 billion in March 2019, the data revealed.

The exports from the country, however increased by 5.63 percent, from US$ 0.443 billion during March 2018 to US$ 0.468 billion in March 2019.

Based on the figures, the deficit during the month was recorded at US $ 0.237 billion in March 2019 against the deficit of US$ 0.411 billion in March 2018, showing decline of 42.36 percent on year-on-year basis.

On the other hand, the imports on month-on-month basis, increased by 16.52 percent in March 2019 when compared to the imports of $0.605 billion in February 2019.

The exports also increased by 13.37 percent in March 2019 when compared to the exports of US $ 0.413 billion in February 2019, according to the data. Meanwhile, The country’s merchandize trade deficit plunged by 12.82 percent during the first ten months of the current fiscal year compared to the corresponding period of last year.

The trade deficit contracted by $3.867 billion to $26.302 billion during July-April (2018-19) against the deficit of $30.169 billion recorded during July-April (2017-18).

The exports during the period under review witnessed nominal decrease of 0.12% by falling from $19.191 billion during last year to $19.169 billion during the ongoing fiscal year.

On the other hand, the imports declined by 7.88% to $45.471 billion during the period under review from $49.360 billion last year, the data revealed.