ADB predicts 2pc growth rate for Pakistan this year, says vaccine rollout remains key factor

ANI
·1-min read
Representat
Representat

Islamabad [Pak] April 29 (ANI): Pakistan's Gross Domestic Product (GDP) would grow by two per cent during the current year subject to successful vaccine rollout and implementation of stabilisation measures, the Asian Development Bank's (ADB) has said in its latest forecast.

Assuming the COVID-19 vaccine rollout is successful and economic stabilisation measures are implemented, growth is expected to accelerate to 4 per cent in 2022 with improved consumption and investor confidence, the Asian Development Outlook (ADO) 2021 report added.

ADB Acting Country Director for Pakistan F. Cleo Kawawaki said it is vital for Pakistan to continue to combat the pandemic by rapidly deploying vaccines and continuing with reforms to support economic recovery, including strengthening social protection and supporting the private sector.

"Improving access to finance for small and medium-sized enterprises is essential to unlocking business opportunities and stimulating new jobs. Continued macro-economic stability and increasing competitiveness are also key pillars under ADB's Pakistan Country Partnership Strategy 2021-2025 that will support an inclusive and sustainable recovery."

For FY2021, agriculture is projected to see slower growth mainly due to a sharply lower cotton harvest following heavy rains, pest attacks, and continued contractions in cultivated areas of land.

Inflation is projected to come down to 8.7 per cent in FY2021, partly reflecting an expected improvement in food supply, subsidies for wheat and sugar, and closer price monitoring of essential commodities, the report said.

The State Bank of Pakistan, the central bank, maintained its policy rate at 7 percent to support the economic recovery. Investment is expected to strengthen as global sentiment improves and the stabilisation program supported by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) progresses. (ANI)