Pakistan’s economy shows resilience in wake of several challenges

Overall trade-deficit during FY 2016-17 has gone-up by 36.32pc

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Photograph credit: Asim Hafeez for Bloomberg Businessweek

Islamabad: Despite various challenges the country has been facing on different fronts, the economy has shown positive growth as suggested by various economic indicators.

According to official sources, foreign reserves is one of the main indicators and the total liquid reserves held by the country stood at $20,283.1 million including $14,698.2 million by SBP and $5,584.9 million by banks.

The production in the Large-Scale Manufacturing sector increased by 5.69 July-May FY 2017, by growing from 132.77 points last year to 140.32 points during the first eleven months of the current fiscal year, sources said.

The worker remittances received during the fiscal year 2016-17 stood at $19.303 billion, helping maintain country’s foreign exchange reserves at an adequate and comfortable level.

The revenue collection by the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) also increased to Rs 3,362.1 billion during the fiscal year 2016-17, showing an upward growth of 8 percent in collection when compared to the tax figures of last fiscal year. The board also surpassed the tax collection target assigned for the month of July 2017.

The inflation, one of the main indicators, has gone down as low as 2.91 percent during July 2017 compared to the same month of the last year, during which it was 4.12 percent.

The Consumer Price Index (CPI), Wholesale Price Index (WPI) and Sensitive Price Index increased just 0.34 percent, 0.66 percent and 0.45 percent on month-on-month basis in July 2017 compared to June 2017.

However, there has been decline of 1.63 percent in exports from the country while the imports grew by 18.67 percent during the fiscal year 2016-17, showing an increase of 36.32 percent in overall trade deficit during the fiscal year 2016-17.

It is pertinent to mention here that for the first time the size of the economy has surpassed $300 billion while on average, income of each Pakistani has increased by 22% since fiscal year 2012-13. Per capita income today stands at $1,629 as compared to $1,334 four years ago.

The Gross Domestic Product (GDP) has grown by 5.3% during the outgoing fiscal year 2016-17, which is a 10-year high growth, compared to growth of 3.68 percent in 2012-13.

The fiscal deficit has also been reduced from 8.2% in 2012-13 to the current year’s 4.2% while the policy rate of SBP has also come down from 9.5% in June 2013 to the current 45-year low of 5.75%, the sources added.