ISLAMABAD: Services exports dipped by over 8.66 per cent year-on-year to $5.449 billion in 2019-20, from $5.966bn over the previous year, data released by the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS) showed on Thursday.

Services exports have fallen since March after the government imposed a lockdown across the country to contain the pandemic.

On a monthly basis, the export of services fell 9.86pc to $402.04m in June, from $446m in the same period last year.

Meanwhile, services imports declined 24.25pc to $8.284bn in FY20, from $10.936bn the year before.

In June, import of services plunged by 19.73pc year-on-year to $634.10m.

As a result, the trade deficit in services also narrowed by 42.25pc to $2.834bn in FY20 as against $4.969bn over last year.

The services sector has emerged as the main driver of economic growth with its share in the GDP increasing from 56pc in 2005-06 to 61.4pc in 2019-20.

Its major sub-sectors include finance and insurance, transport and storage, wholesale and retail trade, public administration, and defense.

Published in Dawn, August 7th, 2020