ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s export of services fell 13.50 per cent for the third consecutive month to $614.96 million in March from $710.94m over the corresponding month of last year, according to the data compiled by the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics.
The export of services recorded positive growth during the first half of the current fiscal year, but it started contracting in January. The export of commodities has steadily declined since the beginning of the current fiscal year.
The export of services posted a 4.75pc growth in the first nine months of the current fiscal year. In absolute terms, the value of export of services reached $5.53 billion in July-March from $5.27bn in the corresponding months of last year.
The export of services grew 17.20pc to $6.968bn in 2021-22 from $5.945bn in the preceding year.
The government has projected an overall export target of $45bn ($35bn commodities and $10bn of services) for 2022-23. The highest-ever growth in IT-related services pushed up the overall export figure.
Services exports include finance and insurance, transport and storage, wholesale and retail trade, public administration, and defence, etc.
The services sector has emerged as the main economic growth driver, contributing 61pc to GDP in 2020-21 from 56pc in 2005-06.
At the same time, the import of services also contracted by 39.67pc to $5.75bn in the July-March period against $9.54bn in the corresponding period last year. Import of services in March dipped by 41.43pc
to $647.10m from $1.104bn over the same month last year.
The trade deficit in services narrowed by 94.63pc to $229.32m in July-March FY23 against $4.266bn over the corresponding months of last year. In March, the trade deficit in services decelerated by 91.84pc to $0.032m against $393.91m over the preceding month.
Published in Dawn, May 9th, 2023