Covid-19: Pakistan sees preliminary economic growth of 3.9% for 2020-21

Filed on May 21, 2021


'Pakistan's per capita income jumped this year from $1,361 to $1,543'

Pakistan said on Friday its economy was on course to grow 3.94 per cent in the financial year 2020-2021 that ends in June, almost double the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank's projections, as it recovers from the worst of the pandemic.

The planning ministry said its provisional estimate - up from Pakistan's last forecast of 3 per cent - was based on data for the year so far on growth in the agricultural, industrial and services sectors at 2.77 per cent, 3.57 per cent, and 4.43 per cent respectively.

"This growth in a period in which Covid-19 placed a huge challenge to the economy is extremely gratifying," minister for planning Asad Umar tweeted.

On Friday, the ministry also revised down GDP growth for the financial year that ended on June 30, 2020, to -0.47 per cent, from -0.38 per cent.

The IMF has estimated GDP for 2020-21 growing 1.5 per cent and the World Bank estimates growth of 1.3 per cent.

Prime Minister Imran Khan's government is weeks away from presenting its annual budget which faces tough challenges on the fiscal deficit and an ambitious revenue collection target.

Due to a combination of GDP growth and strengthening of the Pakistani rupee against the dollar, Pakistan's per capita income jumped by 13.4 per cent this year from $1,361 to $1,543, Umar said.

Total GDP increased from $263 billion to $296 billion, the highest increase recorded in any year, he said.

The South Asian nation of 220 million people got into a $6 billion IMF stabilisation programme in 2019 months after Khan's government delayed it.

Pakistan's Finance Minister Shaukat Tarin has said the country is in talks with the IMF to seek easing of "tough conditions" on the loan.

GDP growth was 5.8 per cent before Khan took power in 2018 with inflation below 4 per cent, which was recorded in double digit last month. Some $2.5 billion of borrowing in international bond markets and historically high remittances have recently given some breathing space.

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