- ACCA report finds Pakistan’s economy to be among the lowest in South Asia as it continues to struggle with macroeconomic imbalances
The latest edition of Global Economic Conditions Survey (GECS) by the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) and Institute of Management Accountants (IMA) has found that Pakistan’s economic confidence fell sharply in the final quarter of 2018.
The global poll of 3,800 accountants found Pakistan’s economy to be amongst the lowest in the South Asia region as it continues to struggle with macroeconomic imbalances. Other regions recorded a negative confidence score with signs of growth weakening in the world’s three biggest economies – the US, China and the Eurozone. Global economic confidence fell for the third consecutive quarter in Q4 2018, ending the year at an all-time low.
Commenting on the findings, ACCA Pakistan head Sajjeed Aslam said, “Despite overall confidence in South Asia holding up better than elsewhere in the world, economic sentiment in Pakistan is now at its second-lowest level since the GECS series began in 2009.”
He said Pakistan’s slump in confidence reflects the poor outlook for the economy, which is experiencing a balance-of-payments crisis – the current account deficit is around 6 per cent of GDP – and a large fiscal deficit in excess of 6 per cent of GDP.
“GDP growth is likely to slow. The World Bank recently downgraded our GDP growth forecast for fiscal 2018/19 to 3.7pc from 4.8pc previously,” he added.
Globally, the survey reveals respondents to be pessimistic about the outlook ahead, with the lowest scores recorded in Western Europe and the Caribbean. The least pessimistic part of the global economy was again South Asia, followed by Africa and North America.
According to the report, the biggest concern for respondents was again rising costs, with 55pc citing this as an issue.
As many as 47pc of respondents globally are considering laying off staff, with just 18pc considering taking on new workers.
A total of 39pc of respondents are considering scaling back investment in new capital projects, compared with just 16pc who are looking to increase investment in new projects
The possibility of suppliers going out of business being a concern for just 12pc of respondents – unchanged from Q3.