KARACHI – The current account deficit widened to 117.3 percent during the first quarter (July-September) of the fiscal year 2017-18 as compared to previous year, showing increased trade imbalance.
According to the State Bank of Pakistan, the deficit was stood at $1.63 billion during the first quarter of last year while it has now been recorded at $3.55bn, reflecting a difference of $1.92bn.
In a recent statement, Finance Minister Ishaq Dar said that $18bn is required in order to meet foreign obligations during the running financial year.
The government paid $8bn in the wake of debt servicing while the current account deficit remained $12.4bn in the previous year.
The country faced a severe shortfall in the first quarter as compared to last year. The deficit was recorded at $2 billion in July and it decreased to $550 million in August. But, it surged to $956m in September, accumulating the quarterly deficit to $3.55 billion.
During the period, trade deficit also increased as Pakistani exports went up by 11 percent to $6.94 billion but its imports increased 21.4pc to $15.39 billion.
So, the deficit in the wake of trade has been observed at $8.44 billion, hinting that the country needs to focus on increasing exports to decrease the trade deficit.