Trade deficit doubles in first quarter

The country’s trade deficit doubled in the first quarter (July-September) of the fiscal year 2021-22 owing to sharp increase in import bill.

According to data released by the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS) on Monday, the trade deficit ballooned by 100.62 percent to $11.66 billion during the first quarter of the current fiscal year as compared with the deficit of $5.81 billion in the corresponding quarter of the last fiscal year 2020-21. The widening of the trade gap is mainly attributed to exponential growth in imports and comparatively slow growth in exports.

The merchandise trade deficit for the month of September 2021 clocked in at $4.1 billion compared to a deficit of $2.4 billion in the corresponding month of the last year, depicting an increase of 70 percent on a year-on-year basis. However, compared to the previous month’s deficit of $4.3 billion, the trade deficit improved by 5.3 percent.

Pakistan’s trade deficit increased to $7.5 billion during July-August period of fiscal year 2021-22, the national data collecting agency had stated. The deficit was $4.1 billion or 120 percent more than the comparative period of the previous fiscal year. The trade deficit trend suggests that the deficit by June next year would be far higher than the targeted $28.4 billion by the government.