Karachi January 22 2022: The country’s current account recorded a deficit of USD 9.09 billion in the first half (July to December) of the current fiscal year, mainly on account of increasing imports, the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) data showed on Saturday.
At USD 1.93 billion, December saw the highest monthly current account deficit since July 2018 when it reached USD 2.1 billion.
At USD 5.6 billion, second quarter of the current fiscal year saw the second highest quarterly current account deficit since last quarter of fiscal year 2018 when it reached USD 6.1 billion. This was the year when the country faced a record USD 19.2 billion current account deficit.
Besides, the First half figure of USD 9 billion this year stands in total contrast to a current account surplus of USD 1.25 billon during the same period a year ago.
The current account deficit remained unchanged from USD 1.89 billion in November to USD 1.93 billion in December, the SBP tweeted. “Cumulatively, led by a significant terms of trade shock amid ongoing economic recovery, CAD reached USD 9.09 billion in Jul-Dec FY22,” The SBP added.
In its 14th December 2021 monetary policy, the SBP said the current account deficit for the ongoing fiscal year would come in at 4pc of GDP — higher than earlier forecast of 2-3pc of GDP.
However, the first half deficit has already reached 5.7 percent, requires a significant decline in import bill which leaves lower chances of a decline amid higher oil prices.
It was also noted that the import bill for December shown by the State Bank was USD 6.532 billion significantly lower than the figures provided by the Pakistan Bureau of Statics (PBS), whose data shows the imports of goods was USD 7.666 billion during the month.
As compared to the central bank’s data, the import bill reflected by the PBS was higher by USD 202 million in July, USD 579 million in August, USD 542 million in September, USD 358 million in October, USD 1.5 billion in November and USD 1.128 billion.