Trade deficit down by 12pc in July-Jan

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ISLAMABAD: Pakistani economy has racked up $11.617 billion of trade deficit (an excess of imports over exports) during the first seven months of the fiscal year 2012-13, depicting a 12.05 percent decline over the same period of last fiscal year when the deficit was clocked at $13.209 billion, the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS) reported Wednesday.

However, the economy is all set to miss its goods exports target for FY13, as during July-Jan FY13 it achieved only 54.5 percent of its annual exports target of $25.812 billion.

During July-Jan 2012-13, the economy exported goods worth of $14.068 billion, while imports stood at $25.685 billion. In the corresponding period of 2011-12, Pakistanís exports stood at $13.118 billion and imports at $26.327 billion.

The monthly trade bulletin of the bureau stated cumulative exports of the country rose 7.24 percent, while imports dipped by 2.44 percent in the seven months over the same period last year.

During January 2013, $2.023 billion worth of products were exported, while in the same month last year the figure was $1.916 billion, depicting 5.58 percent growth. Imports stood at $3.763 billion during January 2013, while in same month last year, they were at $3.649 billion, up 3.12 percent. In the month, the export-import gap was up by 0.40 percent to $1.74 billion over $1.73 billion recorded in the same month last year.

Exports registered an increase of 2.74 percent and imports 4.48 percent in January 2013 over Dec 2012. Exports in December 2012 stood at $1.969 billion and imports at 3.672 billion.

Independent trade experts and economists have also questioned the ministry of commerce three-year cumulative export target of $95 billion, which the government set in its latest second Strategic Trade Policy Framework (STPF) 2012-2015. They believe that given various issues including energy crisis, political uncertainty, bad law and order situation and other structural issues, this is an Ďambitiousí target.

It is worth mentioning that during last fiscal year the economy accumulated a huge trade deficit of $21.27 billion, which was 36.32 percent more than what was recorded in the preceding fiscal. Exports during FY12 were recorded at $23.64 billion compared with $24.81 billion earlier with 4.71 percent decline, while imports rose by 11.13 percent to $44.91 billion from $40.41 billion.

Courtesy: The News


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