ISLAMABAD: The trade deficit in services more than doubled to $5.2 billion during the previous fiscal year, with the June’s figure coming in at around $727 million, up nearly 150 per cent from a year ago.

The export of services grew 17.2pc year-on-year in FY22 mainly driven by information technology, showed data released by the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS) on Wednesday.

Service exports reached $6.97bn in FY22 from $5.9bn a year ago. The target was projected at $7.5bn for FY22.

In June, service exports grew 11.8pc to $646m from $578m a year ago. On a month-on-month basis, the exports increased by 30pc. Services export rose 9.2pc to $5.94bn in FY21.

The highest-ever growth in IT-related services pushed up the overall export figure. Services exports also include finance and insurance, transport and storage, wholesale and retail trade, public administration and defence sectors. The highest export of services including IT products was made to the US in FY22.

Imports jump 58pc, exports grow 12pc in June

The services sector has emerged as the main economic growth driver by contributing 61pc to GDP in 2020-21 from 56pc in 2005-06.

Imports surge 44pc

Simultaneously, the import of services also rose 44pc to $12.14bn in 2021-22 against $8.461bn a year ago.

Imports grew 58pc to $1.37bn in June from $871m in the same month last year. On a month-on-month basis, it grew by 37.95pc. Service imports fell 10.75pc to $7.812bn in FY21 from $8.753bn a year earlier.

The trade deficit in services increased by 105.73pc to $5.175bn in FY22 against $2.515bn in FY21. In June, the trade deficit widened by 148pc to $726.97m from $293m in the same month last year.

The PTI government announced several measures in the budget 2021-22 to promote the export of services, especially information technology.

Published in Dawn, August 4th, 2022

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