KARACHI - The import growth in the transport group declined by 41.72 per cent during the first seven months of the current financial year. In transport group, Pakistan spent 811.327 million dollars on the import of all road motor vehicles ranging from buses to motor cars, motor cycles and aircrafts including their parts and others transport equipments during July-January over 1.392 billion dollars during the same period of FY07-08. The machinery imports remained almost stagnant in the first seven months of the current financial as machinery imports amounted to 3.993 billion dollars as against 3.921 billion dollars in the corresponding period of last fiscal. In percentage, the machinery imports marginally increased by 1.82 percent during a period under review. In machinery group, telecom sector witnessed a major decrease of 47.75 per cent in terms of imports growth as imports in the telecom sector fell to 668.607 million dollars in July-Jan FY09 as against 1.279 billion dollars in the corresponding period of last fiscal. According to FBS, the country had spent 123.289 million dollars to 440.983 million dollars on import of mobile phones in July-Jan FY09. Keeping this development in view, foreign trade experts see decrease in trade deficit and decline in the import growth of major commodities is a positive sign and an indication of improvement for the strong balance of payment outlook but there are certain risk and vulnerabilities being posed stress to the macroeconomic stability. First, the decline in trade deficit, which is anticipated on account of a fall in imports, may prove to be less than expectations for two reasons: (i) there has been a considerable deceleration in growth of exports due to global recession and the domestic structural bottlenecks featuring intermittent power and gas supplies; (ii) the anticipated decline in oil import bill may turn out to be less than the current projections. If the water availability during the summer season is less than what is required, the pressure to increase electricity supply using thermal sources would necessitate higher fuel imports. This could reduce the benefit envisaged in the form of a lower oil import bill. Meanwhile, the trade deficit of the country had grown by marginally 3.57 per cent, to 10.727 billion dollars during July-January 2008-09 from 10.357 billion dollars in July-January on year-on-year basis amid continued rise in the imports growth and slow-than-projected growth in exports.