KARACHI - The imports of more than 25 major sectors have declined in the month of November 2008 due to global financial recession, cut in international prices of commodities and the Pakistan government recent measures to trim imports. In the month of November this year, the imports fell by 13.83 per cent and amounted to 2.723 billion dollars against 3.161 billion dollars in November last year. The major groups like food, machinery, and petroleum and power generation have substantially decreased during the month of November 2008. According to FBS, in food group, unmilled wheat, spices, soybean oil, palm oil, sugar, pulses, including all other food items showed negative growth in imports in November 2008. In machinery group, textile machinery, mobile phones in telecom sector imports saw downward trend. Similarly, in transport group, road motor vehicles (build unit, CKD/s), buses, trucks motor cycles, motor cars imports decelerated during November 2008. The slowdown in the import growth is also an evident of various fiscal and administrative measures taken by the government to curtail excess demand being prevailed in the economy since the beginning of FY09. Rationalizing imports problem with an objective to plunge trade account, government had gradually reduced subsidies' pressures by reducing hoarding and smuggling practices in the first quarter of FY09. The government had also imposed heavy duties on import of luxury items. On its part, SBP has tightened the monetary policy for some time now. A part of the board based slowdown during Q3-FY06-Q1FY08 may be attributed to SBP tight monetary policy. However, the SBP officials had already said that the outcome of the current aggressive monetary policy to cut imports would start responding in the upcoming 6-12 months as the issues, surrounding exports are much more complex. Reportedly, the trade deficit has sharply narrowed by 38.59 percent to US$ 1.196 billion in November 2008 against US$1.948 billion in November 2007. Official statistics on the imports quantum index revealed that the fall in the trade deficit in the period under review was triggered by 21.44 percent decline in imports to $2.723 billion from $ 3.467 billion in last month of current fiscal. While the trade imbalance in the country widened by 20.27 percent to $8.736b during the five months of current financial year (Jul-Nov) FY09 as compared to 7.264b dollars on account of sustained rise in imports. A break-up on sector wise imports said that after posting a record surge in the quantum of oil and food import bill, the petroleum and food group imports showed a negative growth of -31.76 and -28.47 percent respectively as the country had spent US$620.9 billion and US$365.9 billion on oil and food imports in November 2008, as compared to US$909.9 billion and US$284.8 billion during the corresponding period of last financial year. It is important to mention here that the import growth in petroleum products depicted a negative growth of -45.64 percent in November 2008 while the pace of import in petroleum crude had increased sharply and up by -7.16 percent in the specific course of FY09. The country had spent $312.9 billion on importing agriculture and other chemical products depicting that the group imports were down by -44.47 percent in November 2008 against US$563.6 billion in November 2007. The machinery group recorded a decline of -5.69 percent as the country spent US$568.9 on machinery imports during the period under review against the previous month of FY09. The transport group showed a growth of -22.85pc.