Pakistan’s economic growth to accelerate to over 5%: World Bank

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan: Pakistan’s economic growth is expected to accelerate to more than 5 percent this and the next years if the Country’s fiscal deficits are well managed and external stability is maintained.

“Efforts to reverse the trade and fiscal imbalances and continued implementation of reforms will be needed for sustaining and accelerating growth and improving welfare,” said World Bank in its report.

The report said that Pakistan continued its upward growth performance with economic activity expected to accelerate to more than 5 percent this and next year, if deficits are well-managed and external stability is maintained.

The report said that Pakistan has potential to accelerate its growth rate upto 5.5 percent in Fiscal Year 2017-18 and to 5.8 percent in Fiscal year 2018-19.

While giving overall picture of growth of South Asia, the report said that after leading global growth for two years, the region has fallen to second place, after East Asia and the Pacific.

The region’s slowdown is due to both temporary shocks and longer-term challenges. Regional economic growth is expected to slow to 6.9 percent in 2017 from 7.5 percent in 2016, but growth could rebound to 7.1 percent in 2018 with the right mix of policies and reforms.

The just released twice-a-year South Asia Economic Focus (SAEF) finds that the slowdown in South Asia has mostly been driven by internal factors, most notably in India, such as a decrease in private investment, and an increase in imports and government spending.

This edition, Growth out of the Blue, explores the potential of night-time light satellite imagery to improve measurement and understanding of economic activities.

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“While growth rates in South Asia largely remain robust given the economic shocks that some countries in the region have faced, countries should continue to actively address their growing trade and fiscal deficits,” the World Bank South Asia Region Vice President Annette Dixon said.

“With the right mix of policies to respond to challenges, we remain confident that South Asian countries can accelerate their growth to create more opportunities and prosperity for their people.”

The report also highlights that South Asia was once at the cutting edge in economic measurement and analysis, pioneering techniques such as the use of household surveys.

With the rise of big data, traditional ways to measure economic phenomena like prices and Gross Domestic Product (GDP) can be supplemented. To improve economic measurement in South Asia, a greater reliance on big data may help, but a clear agenda toward stronger statistical systems is a necessity.

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