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PBS Data on Trade Deficit Contradicts Commerce Minister’s Claim

Pakistan’s trade deficit narrowed down by 32.66 percent in the first seven months (July-January) of the current fiscal year 2023-24 (FY24) as it stood at $13.167 billion compared to $19.553 billion during the same period of FY23, says the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS).

The trade deficit figure for 7MFY24 issued by PBS contradicts the figures shared by Federal Minister for Commerce and Industries Gohar Ejaz a day earlier. In a statement, the minister said that the overall trade deficit during 7MFY24 decreased by 39 percent to $12.244 billion as compared to $20.005 in the same period of FY23.

The monthly data released by the bureau noted that the country’s exports increased by 7.89 percent ($737 million) to $17.782 billion during July-January FY24 compared to $16.481 billion in the corresponding period of FY23.

Imports declined by 14.11 percent to $30.949 billion during the first seven months of the current fiscal year as compared to $36.034 billion in the same period of the last fiscal year.

On a month-on-month basis, the trade deficit narrowed by 6.51 percent to $1.947 billion in January 2024 when compared to $1.828 billion in December 2023. Exports recorded a 1.13 percent decline to $2.790 billion in January 2024 when compared with $2.822 billion in December 2023. Import increased by 1.87 percent to $4.737 billion in January 2023 when compared with $4.650 billion in December 2023.

The trade deficit narrowed by 24.80 percent on a year-on-year basis and stood at $1.947 billion in January 2024 compared to $2.589 billion during the same month of FY23.

The imports decreased by 1.84 percent on a YoY basis and remained at $4.737 billion in January 2023 compared to $4.826 billion in January 2023. The exports increased by 24.72 percent on a YoY basis and remained at $2.790 billion in January 2024 compared to $2.237 billion in January 2023.

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