ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s trade deficit has widened to $17.963 billion during the first half of the current fiscal year, up by 24.50 percent over $14.428 billion recorded for the same period a year before, says Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS).

Provisional trade figures released for current fiscal year showed that there was an increase of 11.24 percent in exports during July-December 2017 while imports increased by 19.11 percent.

An increase of 14.81 percent in export was recorded on year-on-year basis in December 2017 while imports grew by 10.91 percent, while there was an increase of 0.15 percent in imports in December 2017 over November 2017 and 0.24 percent raise was witnessed in imports.

Pakistan’s total exports increased to $11.007 billion during the first six months of the current fiscal year as compared to $9.895 billion for the same period of last fiscal year, reflecting an increase of $1.112 billion while imports increased to $28.970 billion from $24.323 billion, reflecting an increase of $4.647 billion. As a result, trade deficit increased by 24.65 percent.

Exports have increased to $1.977 billion in December 2017 from $1.722 billion for the same month a year before, showing an increase of $255 million while increase in imports was $450 million for the same period consequent to increase in imports to $4.910 billion from $4.460 billion. The trade deficit in December 2017 was $2.933 billion and was higher by 7.12 percent over the same month of the last fiscal year.

Pakistan’s trade deficit was recorded at $2.933 billion following $1.977 billion exports and $4.910 billion imports in December 2017. The trade deficit in December 2017 was higher by 0.31 percent over November 2017 when the trade deficit was $2.924 billion following $1.974 billion exports and $4.898 billion imports. The government has also unveiled an incentive package for exporters to boost the country’s exports. Pakistan’s exports have been on slide during the last four years and decreased to around $20 billion by the end of fiscal year 2017 from over $25 billion in 2013.