Dawn News

Trade deficit falls

- File Photo
- File Photo

ISLAMABAD: Trade deficit fell by more than nine per cent in the first four months (July-October) of the current fiscal year compared with the same period of the previous fiscal year. The deficit fell to $5.883 billion in July-October 2013 from $6.484bn during the same period of last year, reflecting a decline of 9.27pc.

The decline is because of a slight increase in export proceeds while imports witnessed a paltry decline of less than 2pc, according to the data of Pakistan Bureau of Statistics issued on Wednesday.

The trade deficit was $20.432bn in FY13 compared with $21.288bn in FY12, a decline of 4.02pc.The most disturbing aspect of the trade figure will be the drop of 7.49pc in export proceeds in October 2013 as it fell to $1.864bn from $2.015bn over the corresponding month of last year. This decline will be a major challenge because rupee witnessed massive depreciation.

In July-October, export proceeds witnessed an increase of 5.11pc to $8.576bn as against $8.159bn over the corresponding months of last year.

Imports have been declining steadily since October 2012, while exports rebounded because of a slight improvement in demand in European markets because of the preferential market access on more than 70 products, mostly related to textile.

The rupeeā€™s free fall also facilitated exports in the previous months.

In terms of rupee, export proceeds grew 15.16pc in July-October 2013 compared with the same months of last year.

Contrary to this, imports witnessed a decline of 1.26pc to $14.459bn in July-October period 2013 as against $14.643bn over the corresponding period of last year.

On monthly basis, imports dropped by 13.43pc to $3.281bn in October 2013 as against $3.790bn over the corresponding month of last year.

The government has constituted a committee to propose measures for exploring avenues for increasing exports from the country. The committee was tasked to prepare an action plan within a period of one month.

No report has been made so far despite a lapse of two months.

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