KARACHI: The country witnessed second consecutive current account deficit in November, indicating that massive inflows through remittances and other sources have failed to fill the hole created by trade deficit.
A deficit of $216 million in November took the July-November figure to $1.005 billion, the State Bank of Pakistan reported on Friday. However, it was still lower than a $2.457bn deficit in the first five months of the previous fiscal year.
But the trend still looks worrying since the government has been saving billions due to falling oil prices. The details also reflect that the country’s debt servicing has been increasing, eating up the benefit of the workers’ remittances.
In July-November, exports fell by $1.064bn to $8.844bn and imports by $2.48bn to $16.142bn. So the trade deficit, at $7.480bn, is close to the size of exports, which reflects a bad scenario for the exports industry as well as for the country heavily loaded with foreign debts.
The government has so far failed to attract foreign investment that might have helped the country improve its external account. The poor contribution of foreign investors was limited to just $540m in July-November.
The current account deficit, which was $351m in July-Sept, rose by $635m in October and November combined.