Web Desk — Pakistan’s economy is on track to expand 5.3 percent in the financial year 2016/2017, the fastest rate since 2007, Finance Minister Ishaq Dar said on Thursday, a day before he announces a budget plan which is likely to focus on boosting growth.
According to a report, analysts will be closely watching Dar’s final budget before the 2018 election for any clues about populist giveaways and to see if his government will maintain the macroeconomic discipline that has helped stabilise the economy in recent years.
— Reuters Pakistan (@ReutersPakistan) May 20, 2017
Dar said estimated growth in 2016/2017 (July 1-June 30) had been driven by a rebound in agriculture, with the sector growing 3.5 percent compared with 0.3 percent a year earlier, and supported by steady performance of the services sector, which expanded 6 percent.
“Pakistan is in the midst of an economic revival,” Dar said in a statement detailing the 2016/2017 Pakistan Economic Survey.
He also told media that Pakistan would be targeting a 6 percent growth target for 2017/2018. In the past few years, the government has missed such targets, including the 5.7 percent aimed for in 2016/2017.
Pakistan’s economy needs to grow at more than 6 percent a year to absorb new entrants coming into the workforce in a fast-growing population of nearly 200 million people, experts say.
Pakistan in September concluded a three-year IMF bailout programme stemming from a balance of payments crisis in 2013, and Dar said Pakistan had no plans to go back to the IMF despite a ballooning current account deficit.