PM Imran hails economic reforms after current account deficit shrinks | Pakistan Today

PM Imran hails economic reforms after current account deficit shrinks

Prime Minister Imran Khan on Tuesday hailed the $99 million current account surplus posted in October, after a gap of more than four years, saying the country’s economy was finally heading in the right direction.

According to the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP), the current account balance posted a $99 million surplus in October, up from a $284 million deficit in the previous month of September, after a period of almost four years.

“Pakistan economy finally heading in right direction as more of our economic reforms bear fruit: Pak’s current account turned into surplus in Oct 2019, for first time in 4 yrs. Current account balance was +$99mn in Oct 2019 compared to -$284mn in Sept 2019 & -$1,280mn in Oct 2018,” he said on Twitter.

“For first 4 months of our fiscal year, our current account deficit has fallen by 73.5% compared to same period last fiscal year. Our exports of goods & services in Oct 2019 rose 20% over previous month and 9.6% over Oct 2018. I congratulate our exporters & encourage them to do more,” added the premier.

A day earlier, the central bank had said the during the first quarter of this fiscal year, the current account was negative with a cumulative $1.572 billion deficit, however, in October it has turned positive.

The country’s current account deficit, in the last fiscal year, clocked in at $12.75 billion, down 36 percent from record-high $19.9 billion in FY-18.

According to the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS), the trade deficit fell 33.5 percent in July-October FY-20, while imports of goods dropped 22.9 percent to $14.656 billion in the first four months of the current fiscal year.

Exports grew slightly by 3.4 percent to $8.220 billion, the SBP data showed. Foreign direct investment into Pakistan rose 238.7 percent in the first four months of the current fiscal year to $650 million.

Exports of services during the four months clocked in at $1.749 billion compared to $1.709 billion during the last fiscal year. Imports of services, on the other hand, reached $3.117 billion compared to $3.076 billion in FY18.

“In particular, the onset of fiscal stimulus and successful resolution of trade negotiations involving major economies would be instrumental in supporting global consumer demand, which would, in turn, bode well for exporting partners, including Pakistan, along with improved prospects of foreign investments,” SBP report said.

The Free Trade Agreement (FTA-II) with China and preferential trade agreement with Indonesia might also boost exports, it suggested.

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