Pakistan’s trade deficit has shown promising signs in the first quarter of the fiscal year 2023-24, with a remarkable reduction of 42.25 percent. This figure dropped significantly, down to $5.289 billion, from the $9.159 billion recorded during the same period in the previous fiscal year, according to data released by the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS).
During the months of July to September 2023-24, Pakistan’s exports experienced a modest decrease of 3.78 percent, totaling $6.899 billion. This is in comparison to the $7.170 billion in exports from the corresponding period in the previous fiscal year. Simultaneously, imports saw a substantial decline, plummeting by 25.36 percent to $12.188 billion during the first quarter of the current fiscal year, down from the $16.329 billion recorded in the same period of the previous fiscal year.
Taking a closer look at the monthly data, the trade deficit showed notable improvement in September 2023, narrowing by 31.13 percent to $1.489 billion, as opposed to the $2.162 billion recorded in August 2023. This month also marked a 4.18 percent increase in exports, reaching $2.465 billion, compared to $2.366 billion in August 2023. On the other hand, imports witnessed a decline of 12.68 percent in September 2023, amounting to $3.954 billion, down from $4.528 billion in August 2023.
Examining the trade balance on a year-on-year basis, the results were even more promising. The trade deficit significantly contracted by 47.86 percent in September, standing at $1.489 billion compared to $2.856 billion during the same month in the previous fiscal year. Imports also registered a noteworthy 25.30 percent decrease year-on-year, totaling $3.954 billion in September 2023, compared to $5.293 billion in September 2022. Meanwhile, exports increased by 1.15 percent year-on-year, maintaining a figure of $2.465 billion in September 2023, compared to $2.437 billion in September 2022.
These figures paint a positive picture for Pakistan’s trade balance, with reduced trade deficits and increased exports. This development offers hope for the country’s economic stability in the upcoming months, indicating a potential turnaround in Pakistan’s trade fortunes.