- Statement comes as Pakistan reports massive current account deficit in January
Spokesperson to the Minister of Finance Muzzammil Aslam said on Saturday that despite higher commodity prices, imports have started to rationalise from January onwards, a statement that comes after Pakistan reported a record-high current account deficit on a monthly basis.
The country’s current account deficit crossed the $11-billion mark in the first seven months of this fiscal year (FY22), mainly due to a higher import bill. On a month-on-month basis, the current account deficit increased 33 percent in January 2022, and clocked-in at $2.55 billion as against $1.91 billion in December 2021.
However, Aslam said some imports reflected in January are in kind and fully funded.
“This is reflected form overall balance declined by $1.09 billion against $2.55 billion current account deficit reported in January,” said Aslam on Twitter, while sharing the balance of payment figures provided by the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP).
A widening current account deficit has put pressure Pakistan's rupee as well that crossed the 177 level on Friday.
Since May 2021, the rupee has shed nearly 14% of its value against the US dollar, prompting the SBP to introduce and enforce several measures to stem its decline.
However, the SBP says the primary reason behind the current account deficit is a 55 percent increase in goods imports because of rising commodity prices in the world market.
At the same time, inflationary burden has increased in the country as well, with CPI-based figures reaching a two-year high in January.