The country’s trade deficit for the fiscal year 2021-22 has increased by 57% to $48.67 billion, compared to $30.96 billion during the fiscal year 2020-21, according to official provisional data shared by Arif Habib Limited (AHL) on Monday.
Exports from the country have seen a growth of 10% on a month-on-month (MoM) basis, increasing from $2.63 billion in May 2022 to $2.89 billion in June 2022.
Provisional data shows that the nation’s exports increased by 27% to $31.85 billion in the 2021-2022 fiscal year, compared to $25.16 billion during the same period of 2020-2021.
According to the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS), imports increased by 43% during the (July-June) of the last fiscal year and stood at $80.51 billion compared to $56.12 billion during the same period in fiscal 2020-2021.
A widening trade deficit has become a cause for concern for policymakers, as the country struggles to stem the outflow of dollars, which puts pressure on the currency.
The government has been actively pursuing the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to revive its stalled Extended Fund Facility (EFF) program. Last week, Pakistan received combined economic and financial targets for the seventh and eighth reviews of its IMF bailout program, said Finance Minister Miftah Ismail.
On Twitter, Miftah said the government had received the lender’s Memorandum of Economic and Financial Policies (MEFP) for both reviews, following meetings last week between the two sides.
The IMF program is widely seen as crucial for Pakistan’s economy, which has struggled with high inflation and a widening current account deficit.
In June 2022, the country’s trade deficit widened by 37% from the previous year, jumping from $3.55 billion to $4.85 billion. Imports saw a 26% increase from the previous year, going from $6.28 billion to $7.74 billion, while exports saw 6% growth, increasing from $2.73 billion to $2.89 billion.
Provisional figures show that the trade deficit widened by 17% on a month-on-month basis from $4.15 billion in May 2022 to $4.85 billion in June 2022.
Imports increased by 14% on a month-on-month basis and remained $7.74 billion in June 2022 compared to $6.78 billion in May 2022.