ISLAMABAD: Services exports fell by over 16.79 per cent year-on-year to $352.92 million in the second month of the current fiscal year, data released by the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS) showed on Tuesday.

The new fiscal year starts with negative growth in the export of services from the country. The first month also posted a negative growth of over 5pc negative growth.

The service exports between July and August fell by 14.26pc to $758.05m as against $884.14m over the corresponding months last year.

Services exports dipped by over 8.66pc year-on-year to $5.449 billion in fiscal year 2019-20 from $5.966bn over the corresponding year.

Services exports have fallen since March after the government imposed a lockdown across the country to contain the pandemic.On the other hand, services imports dipped by 51.39pc to $454.99m in August from $936.03m in the corresponding month of last year. The import bill of services declined by 32.81pc to $1.220bn in JulyAugust 2020 against $1.815bn over the corresponding months of last year.

The services imports fell to $8.284bn in July-June, from $10.936bn in the same months last year, a decline of 24.25pc.

As a result, the trade deficit in services narrowed by 80pc to $102.07m in August from $511.88m over the corresponding month of last year.

The trade deficit in services also narrowed by 42.25pc to $2.834bn in FY20 as against $4.969bn over the same period last year.

The services sector has emerged as the main driver of economic growth with its share in the GDP increasing from 56pc in 2005-06 to 61.4pc in 2019-20. Its major subsectors include finance and insurance, transport and storage, wholesale and retail trade, public administration, and defence.