ISLAMABAD  -   The country’s services trade deficit narrowed by 36.54 percent during the first eight months of the current fiscal year compared to the corresponding period of last year.

The services trade deficit during July-February (2018-19) was recorded at US $ 2.303 billion against the deficit of US $ 3.630 billion during July-February (2017-18), showing decline of 36.54 percent, official data revealed.

The services’ imports into the country during the period under review decreased by 19.54 percent to US $ 5.775 billion from US $ 7.178 billion last year, according to latest data of Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS).

Compare to imports, the exports of services witnessed a marginal negative growth of 2.14 percent during the period. The services exports during the first eight months of current fiscal year were recorded at US $ 3.472 billion against the exports of US $ 3.548 billion during the same period of last year.

Meanwhile, on year-on-year basis, the services imports into the country reduced by 29.67 percent by declining from US $ 0.865 billion in February 2018 to US $ 0.608 billion in February 2019, the data revealed.

The exports from the country also decreased by 7.47 percent by going down from US $ 0.443 billon during February 2018 to US $ 0.410 billion in February 2019. Based on the figures, the deficit during the month was recorded at US $ 0.198 billion in February 2019 against the deficit of US  $0.421 billion in February 2018, showing huge decline of 52.98 percent on year-on-year basis.

On the other hand, the imports on month-on-month basis, increased by 8.74 percent in February 2019 when compared to the imports of $0.666 billion in January 2019. The exports also increased by 9.94 percent in February 2019 when compared to the exports of US $ 0.455 billion in January 2019, according to the data.

Meanwhile, The country’s merchandize trade deficit plunged by 13.02 percent during July-March (2018-19) as the deficit contracted by over US $ 3.544 billion to US $23.672 billion in the period under review against the deficit of $27.216 billion recorded during same period of the previous year. The exports during the period under review witnessed an increase of 0.11% to US $17.08 billion from US $17.064 billion during July-March (2017-18).

On the other hand, the imports declined by 7.96% to US $ 40.755 billion from US $ 44.281 billion recorded during first nine months of current fiscal year. On year-on-year basis, the imports into the country witnessed negative growth of 20.88% during March 2019 when compared to the imports of same month of last year.

The imports during March 2019 were recorded at US $ 4.155 billion against the imports of US $ 5.25 billion in March 2018, according to the data.