Trade Deficit Expands To $34bln
Trade Deficit Expands To $34bln: Trade deficit widened 13.4 percent to $33.886 billion in the first 11 months of the current fiscal year of 2017/18, official data showed on Monday.
Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS) said the trade deficit amounted to $29.882 billion during the corresponding period of the last fiscal year.
In July-May, merchandise exports rose 15.3 percent to $21.346 billion, while imports increased 14 percent to $55.232 billion. Considering the monthly growth trend in trade, exports are expected to close at around $24 billion by the yearend, while imports are likely to record at more than $60 billion.
PBS recorded exports at $2.144 billion in May, while imports amounted to $5.814 billion. Exports increased inched up 0.52 percent in May over April, while imports rose 14 percent month-on-month.
Exports surged 32.4 percent in May over the same month a year earlier and imports increased 14.8 percent year-on-year. In May, trade deficit widened seven percent year-on-year to $3.670 billion, while it sharply engulfed 23.32 percent month-on-month.
PBS data further showed that trade deficit in services $4.216 billion in the July-April period, up 26.7 percent over the corresponding period a year ago. Exports of services decreased 8.2 percent to $4.315 billion, while services import increased 6.3 percent to $8.530 billion during the period.
In April, trade deficit in services widened 11.54 percent month-on-month, but they narrowed 18.7 percent year-on-year to $364 million.
Exports of services earned the country $451.2 million in April, up five percent month-on-month and 17.3 percent year-on-year. Imports of services stood at $815.3 million in April, up eight percent month-on-month and down 2.1 percent year-on-year, PBS data showed.
In order to improve competitiveness and incentivize investment in export-oriented production, the Drawback of Local Taxes and Levies (DLTL) has been extended, on the same terms and conditions, for the commercial and manufacturer exporters.
The zero rating of textile machinery imports and withdrawal of duty on manmade fiber other than polyester has been continued.
In order to encourage more non-traditional sectors, electric fans, electrical appliances, electricity equipment and cables, transport equipment including motor bikes, sports bags, leather products e.g. leather wallets, auto-parts, stationery, furniture, fresh fruits & vegetables, meat & meat preparations including poultry, juices & syrups have also been included in the package. The federal government has extended the duration of Rs.3 per unit subsidy under Industrial Support Package (ISP) for another three months.
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