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Pakistan's trade deficit shrinks 2.4 pct for September
Last Updated: 2018-10-11 13:20 | Xinhua
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The Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS) said on Wednesday that Pakistan's trade deficit reduced by 2.4 percent during the month of September over the same month of the last year.

According to the official figure, Pakistan's trade deficit dropped to 2.7 billion U.S. dollars in September which was 2.4 percent lower when compared with the figures recorded in the same month last year. The figure was 9 percent lower when compared with the trade deficit recorded in August.

The country's current account deficit fell drastically in August this year at 0.6 billion U.S. dollars, which was well below the expectations.

Mohammad Sohail, CEO at Topline Securities, which is based in Pakistan's southern port city of Karachi, told Xinhua that due to further contraction in the trade deficit, Pakistan's current account deficit is also likely to shrink for the month of September, provided other statistics for the month stay in line with the previous month's trends.

During the month under review, Pakistan's exports were calculated at 1.73 billion U.S. dollars, which were 3.6 percent more when compared to the exports worth 1.67 billion U.S. dollars recorded during the same month of the last year. The country's exports deflated by 14 percent in September to 1.73 billion U.S. dollars as against exports worth 2.02 billion U.S. dollars registered in August.

Mohammad Sohail said the decline over August is likely due to the lower exports of agriculture commodities that may pick up the pace going forward as the Pakistani government has recently allowed sugar export of 1 million tons.

Last month, Pakistan's imports were recorded 4.43 billion U.S. dollars, which was almost flat over the figure of 4.44 billion U.S. dollars posted during the same month of the last year. The country's imports slumped 11 percent in September to 4.43 billion U.S. dollars as against imports worth 4.99 billion U.S. dollars reported in August.

Commenting on the declining trends in the country's imports, Mohammad Sohail said the decline in imports on monthly basis is likely due to the lower import of furnace oil as few power plants are closed amid liquidity constraints due to the energy sector's burgeoning circular debt.

During the first quarter of the fiscal year of 2018-19 (July-September), Pakistan posted a slight improvement of 4.6 percent to 5.4 billion U.S. dollars in its exports, while on the flip side its imports hiked by only 0.6 percent to 14.3 billion U.S. dollars, which resulted in a decline in trade deficit by 1.6 percent to 8.9 billion U.S. dollars.

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