October 4, 2022 (MLN): Despite a passage of four days since the start of October, the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics has still not released trade data for the month of September.
Usually, the trade data is released on first or second of every month, but the number has been delayed this time around without any intimation on the reason. Experts fear the delay in release of data may be due to significant decline in exports and widening of trade deficit.
The aggregate economic demand in the country has slumped due to high interest rates, inflation and weakening rupee. The government’s measures to contain the current account deficit have led to a sharp reduction in imports and decrease in overall demand of goods as seen in the plummeting sales of automobiles, cement, fuel, and fertilizers. This has significantly hampered the industrial sector.
Beyond the industrial sectors, floods have wreaked havoc on the agriculture sector where cotton and wheat output are expected to witness sharp declines.
To note, the PBS released inflation numbers for the month of September on Saturday showing a month-on-month decline of 1.15% from August.
PTI Spokesperson on Economy and Finance Muzammil Aslam questioned the government's decision to delay release of trade data for the previous month. He wondered what the reason is behind “trade data missing since October 2, 2022. Any ideas?”.
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