Pakistan’s trade deficit at $20.7 bn

July 10th, 2008 - 12:57 pm ICT by IANS  

Islamabad, July 10 (IANS) Spiralling oil prices saw Pakistan’s trade deficit rise an alarming 52.95 percent to $20.7 billion in the just ended fiscal 2007-08 from the previous $13.5 billion. “High oil import costs continue to increase the deficit, and rising oil prices are making things tough for the government,” The News said Thursday.

The trade deficit climbed to 12.3 percent of GDP during 2007-08 from 9.4 per cent the previous year. In June, the import bill amounted to $4 billion, while exports were at $2 billion.

After missing the target for two years running, exports were at an unexpected $19.2 billion during 2007-08, up by 13.23 percent from $16.9 billion in the previous year.

“The target for the outgoing fiscal year was $19.2 billion, which was achieved on the back of rupee depreciation and unexpected growth in exports of non-textile products,” The News said.

According to figures released here Wednesday by the Federal Bureau of Statistics, the import bill jumped to a new high of $39.9 billion during 2007-08 against $30.5 billion a year earlier - an increase of 30.87 percent.

This was largely because imports of petroleum products swelled by $1.6 billion, of petroleum crude by $1.1 billion, of fertilizer by $542.4 million, of palm oil by $480.8 million, of plastic material by $117.1 million, of medicinal products by $76 million, of iron and steel by $49.5 million and of soybean oil by $59.9 million.

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