Dar felicitates PM, nation on 5.28 GDP growth rate in fiscal year 2017

Islamabad: Finance Minister Senator Ishaq Dar on Wednesday extended felicitations to Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and the whole nation on achievement of 5.28% GDP growth rate in fiscal year 2017, the highest in last ten years.

According to the state run news agency (APP) the minister said, it was due to the prudent economic policies of the present government that the country had been able to achieve continuous GDP growth in successive years,
adding that government was determined to achieve 6% growth rate in the next financial year.

According to the Asian Development Bank (ADB) report, the bank has projected GDP growth for Pakistan at 5.2 percent in fiscal year 2017, a rate that has been downgraded by Finance Minister Ishaq Dar to five percent, and 5.5 percent in 2018 against six percent projected in the budget, but maintained that regulation remains burdensome, requiring more reform to provide an enabling environment that facilitates business and fosters investment.

In its latest Asian Development Outlook (ADO) 2017, ADB forecasts higher growth, with inflation and current account deficit edging up on higher oil prices and substantial imports for a major investment project. Continued economic reform is essential to reach a high growth trajectory.

A third consecutive year of falling exports reflects weak global demand and low international commodity prices but also domestic structural issues such as power outages, scant investment in modernization, and currency appreciation in real effective terms, all of which hamper competitiveness. Exports continued to decline, but by only 1.3 percent, which was much smaller than the 11.7% plunge in the same period of fiscal year 2016.

The current account deficit is projected to widen to equal 2.1% of GDP in fiscal year 2017. The deficit increased to $4.7 billion in the first seven months of fiscal year 2017, almost double the $2.5 billion deficit in the same period of fiscal year 2016. Services and income account deficits worsened as receipts under the Coalition Support Fund were delayed.

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