KARACHI: Revised data released by the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) on Wednesday showed the current account deficit for July-May at $10.64 billion, which is $1.71bn higher than the earlier reported figure of $8.92bn.

The revision comes at the conclusion of a long-running reconciliation exercise to address the gap between import figures reported by the SBP and the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS).

The gap became an issue in the summer of last year as some imports from China were being settled outside of Pakistan’s banking channels.

The government is under pressure because of the rapidly increasing current account deficit. The 11-month deficit is 2.1 times wider than the revised figure of $4.86bn for 2015-16.

“These transactions related to the private sector and have affected the imports of goods, imports of services, primary income, secondary income, direct investment in Pakistan, currency and deposits (assets) of the private sector, disbursements and amortisation of private-sector loans,” said the SBP.

The deficit is going to be even higher when the final figure for the fiscal year is released in coming days. This means the economy desperately needs higher inflows.

 

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