ISLAMABAD   -   All major economic indicators have deteriorated during the last one year including fiscal deficit, foreign exchange reserves, current account deficit and currency depreciation.

A latest report of the Ministry of Finance has revealed that performance of major economic indicators has worsened in the current fiscal year as against the same period of the previous year. Pakistan’s rupee has depreciated by Rs31.49 against US dollar in last one year, which has increased the inflation rate as well as enhanced overall debt of the country.

Dollar rate has recorded at Rs185.63 on April 26 this year as against Rs154.14 on same period of the previous year. The local currency is depreciated by over 20 percent in last one year, according to the latest data of the ministry.

Meanwhile, the country’s foreign exchange reserves have also fallen during the period under review. Pakistan’s total liquid foreign exchange reserves stood at $16.8 billion on April 20, 2022, with the SBP’s reserves recorded at $10.6 billion, while commercial banks’ reserves remained at $6.2 billion. The reserves were $23.613 billion in the corresponding period of the last year.

Meanwhile, the foreign direct investment (FDI) has also recorded decline. In July-March period, the FDI reached $1,285.1 million ($1,311.1 million last year) decreased by 2.0 percent. In March the net outflow was recorded at $30.4 million, on account of political instability which resulted in change of regime.

The Current Account posted a deficit of $13.2 billion for Jul-Mar FY2022 as against $275 million last year. The current account deficit widened due to the constantly growing import volume of energy and non-energy commodities, along with a rising trend in the global prices of oil, COVID-19 vaccines, food and metals. Exports grew by 26.6 percent during Jul-Mar FY2022 and reached $23.7 billion ($18.7 billion last year). Imports on fob grew by 41.3 percent during Jul-Mar FY2022 and reached $53.8 billion ($ 38.1 billion last year). Resultantly the trade deficit (Jul-Mar FY2022) reached $ 30.1 billion as against $ 19.3 billion last year.

During the first nine months of the current fiscal year, the fiscal deficit stood at 4.0 percent of GDP against 3.0 percent of GDP (on the basis of revised GDP) last year. Similarly, the primary balance posted a deficit of Rs 447.2 billion (-0.7 percent of GDP) as compared to surplus of Rs 451.8 billion (0.8 percent of GDP). During Jul-Mar, FY2022, the total revenues grew by 17.7 percent to Rs 5,874.2 billion against Rs 4,992.6 billion in the same period of FY2021. Within revenues, non-tax collection was reduced by 14.3 percent, while FBR tax collection increased by 29 percent during the period under review. The provisional net tax collection during Jul-Mar FY2022 grew by 28.9 percent to stand at Rs 4,375.6 billion against Rs 3393.7 billion in the same period of last year. During the first nine months of the current fiscal year, FBR exceeded its revenue target by 5.8 percent.

The CPI inflation was recorded at 10.8 percent during Jul-Mar compared to 8.3 percent in the same period of last year. CPI for the March 2022 recorded at 12.7 percent on YoY basis against 9.1 percent in March 2021. The overall spike in CPI is on account of increased in the prices of imported items, as the country is a net importer of items especially crude oil, pulses and edible oil which ultimately transmitted into domestic prices. Upward price movement is further fuelled by Russia Ukraine war, supply chain disruption and recovery in global demand.

In Jul-Mar FY2022, workers’ remittances reached $23.0 billion ($21.4 billion last year), increased by 7.1 percent. Workers’ remittances continued their unprecedented run of above $2 billion since June 2020.