Anticipated comeback


After enduring a 0.3 percent decline in the last financial year, Pakistan’s economy is poised for a comeback in fiscal year 2024, with a predicted growth rate of 1.19 percent, according to the Asian Development Bank (ADB). This forecast offers a glimmer of hope for Pakistan’s economic prospects, but it is not without its share of challenges.
The ADB’s projection of improved economic growth and easing inflation in FY2024 compared to 2023 is indeed promising. However, there are lingering downside risks that demand our attention. Global price shocks and a deceleration in global growth continue to cast shadows over Pakistan’s economic recovery.
One notable factor contributing to inflationary pressures is the sharp increase in energy tariffs under the economic adjustment program. Additionally, the persistent depreciation of the rupee against the dollar exacerbates this issue, making it challenging for inflation to decrease significantly. These concerns highlight the need for careful policy considerations to address these key areas of concern.
The report underscores the significance of oil price fluctuations in the world market, which pose a considerable challenge to Pakistan’s economy. Moreover, the sluggish global growth rate has played a role in impeding Pakistan’s economic progress.
In light of these challenges, policy reforms are imperative to stabilize the economy. Continuity in policies is essential for sustained economic development. The ADB emphasizes that the government must strategically utilize social and development spending to restore economic growth.
One key recommendation is the adoption of a market-based exchange rate. This adjustment is essential to ensure stability in the exchange rate and foster improved market sentiment. Furthermore, it’s worth noting that Pakistan’s upcoming general election is anticipated to bring about political stability, which could provide a positive impetus to the economy.
The report underscores the importance of continued support from multilateral and bilateral partners, as these investments are crucial for reserve accumulation, exchange rate stability and enhanced market confidence. These investments are vital to rebuild domestic and external balance buffers, thereby laying the foundation for future economic programs under the new government.
It is important to recognize that Pakistan’s economy faced a myriad of challenges in FY2023, ranging from severe floods to global price shocks and political instability. These factors collectively resulted in weakened economic growth and increased inflation.
Nonetheless, the prospects for a brighter economic future are within reach if the economic adjustment program is effectively implemented, and the general election proceeds smoothly. It is a pivotal moment for Pakistan, where prudent policies and collaborative efforts can steer the nation toward stability and growth.