Pakistan’s exports likely to drop by 19.7pc in FY20: WB

ISLAMABAD: The World Bank has forecast that if the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) lasts longer than expected, Pakistan’s exports could plunge by 19.7pc in the current fiscal year (FY20) as compared to the previous one.

The negative impact of global lockdown due to coronavirus would persist longer and could go beyond FY20, said the World Bank in its twice-a-year-regional update ‘South Asia Economic Focus’, adding that under the baseline scenario, the growth rate of exports of Pakistan is likely to contract by 5.3pc during the year 2020-21.

However, the World Bank has projected that the exports in 2021-22 would witness a positive growth of 7.3pc.

The import of goods and services are also likely to contract by 26.3pc during the year 2019-20 while in the subsequent years of FY-21 and FY-22, the imports would witness a negative growth of 7.7pc and positive growth of 4.8pc, respectively.

Services growth during the FY20 is projected to contract by 1.7pc while in the year 2020-21, it would grow by 0.8pc and in FY22, the sector would grow by 3.4pc.

Similarly, the report forecast that the country’s industrial sector would contract by 2.1pc in FY20 while during FY21, the sector would grow by 0.7pc and in FY22, it would grow by 3.7pc.

The agriculture sector’s growth would remain positive despite the negative impact of the lockdown and it is likely that the sector would grow at the rate of 1.0pc during current FY while in next two years its growth would gradually pick the pace to 1.7pc in FY21 and 2.3pc in FY22.

With respect to inflation, the report projected that by the end of current FY, the inflation rate would remain at 11.8pc while in the next years the rate would be recorded at 9.5pc and 6.0pc by the end of FY21 and FY22, respectively.

The debt to gross domestic products (GDP) ratio, which is likely to remain at 90.6pc during the current FY, would further rise in the next FY up to 91.8pc. However, in the year 2021-22, the ratio is likely to come down to 89.6pc.

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