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C/A deficit doubles to $2.6bn

Updated September 20, 2017

KARACHI: The current account deficit for July-August grew 102 per cent on an annual basis to $2.6 billion, according to data released by the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) on Tuesday.

The gap between the country’s external payments and receipts in the first two months of 2017-18 widened to 4.6pc of gross domestic product (GDP) against 2.5pc a year ago.

Exports grew 17.9pc in July-August to $3.9bn. But the rise in imports was steeper as the country bought foreign goods worth almost $9bn, up 27.9pc year-on-year.

The deficit touched the record high of $12.1bn in 2016-17, making it difficult for the country to keep its foreign exchange reserves intact. The overall balance of trade in goods widened 37pc to more than $5bn in July-August.

On a monthly basis, however, SBP data showed relative improvement in the current account balance. The deficit amounted to $550 million in August, down 73pc from about $2bn in July. The notable change in August was mainly because exports increased 15pc month-on-month while imports dropped 9.7pc.

Published in Dawn, September 20th, 2017