Trade deficit widens to 24% in November MoM

July December trade deficit

Islamabad: In another blow to the falling reserves and piling current account deficit, the trade deficit of Pakistan widened to 24% in November on a month-on-month basis, the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS) reported.

According to the provisional statistics on trade, the PBS reported that during November, the trade deficit swelled to $2.876 billion from the $2.327 billion deficit recorded in October. On an MoM basis, this is a sharp 24% increase in trade imbalance.

According to the report, imports amounted to $5.245 billion in November, whereas exports were recorded at a mere $2.369 billion.

Meanwhile, on a year-on-year basis, the difference between imports and exports declined by 42.46% in November because the trade deficit had clocked in at $5 billion in the corresponding month last year.

Similarly, the trade deficit in the first five months of the current fiscal year — FY23 — is recorded at $14.4 billion, which is 30.14% low than the deficit that was recorded in the same period last year, which was $20.62 billion.

It is pertinent to mention that the trade deficit of Pakistan recorded a whopping increase of 55.7% during the fiscal year 2022, taking the total imbalance between imports and exports to $48.38 billion. Fuelled by the soaring trade imbalance and rising current account deficit, the forex exchange reserves have fallen to $7.498 billion, the lowest since July 2019.

Pakistan receives $500 million from Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank

In a major boost to the depleting forex reserves of Pakistan, the government on Tuesday received $500 million from the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB).

“The funds are deposited with SBP and will augment our reserves,” the Finance Ministry said in a statement.

Earlier this month, Ishaq Dar had confirmed that the board of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) had approved $500 million as co-financing of the Asian Development Bank (ADB)-funded BRACE program for Pakistan.

“These Funds will be received by [the] State Bank of Pakistan within November 2022,” he had claimed.

BRACE (Building Resilience with Active Counteryclical Expenditures Programme) is an Asian Development Bank (ADB) financing program to counter the social fallouts of economic crises.

Last month, Pakistan had also received $1.5 billion from the Asian Development Bank (ADB) under the Building Resilience with Active Countercyclical Expenditures (BRACE) program.

The ADB had approved $1.5 billion in financing to help the Pakistan government provide social protection, promote food security, and support employment for its people amid devastating floods and global supply chain disruptions.