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SBP Reserves Decline by $170 Million to $4.03 Billion

According to data issued by the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) on Thursday, the central bank’s foreign exchange reserves declined by 4% on a weekly basis.

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The SBP’s foreign exchange holdings were registered at $4.038 billion on April 7, down $170 million from the 4.208 billion on March 31, and yet insufficient to pay for even a month’s worth of necessary imports.

Overall, the government retained $9.56 billion in liquid foreign exchange reserves, comprising net reserves held by institutions other than the SBP, a decrease of $195 million or 2% from the previous week.

At $5.526 billion, the banks’ net reserves showed a week-over-week decline of $26 million. The results indicate that the present stockpiles are sufficient to fund imports for less than a month.

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An economy that is heavily dependent on imports is under tremendous strain due to a shortage of foreign exchange reserves. The central bank has reduced inbound shipments in an effort to reduce the current account deficit, however this has resulted in the closure of numerous firms.

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