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4.24 percent GDP growth achieved in 2015: Ishaq Dar

24 March, 2016

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ISLAMABAD: Finance Minister Ishaq Dar on Wednesday stated that due to “better policies of the government”, 4.24 percent GDP growth was achieved in 2015, which is the highest in the last seven years.

He added that the government is aiming for 5.5 percent growth in 2016. Chairing a meeting of the Monetary and Fiscal Policies Coordination Board, he said early indicators of the commodity-producing sector suggest that the economic growth is picking up modestly. The minister welcomed the participants and said the Monetary and Fiscal Policies Coordination Board is an important body to meet on quarterly basis to review the current economic situation to bring consistencies in monetary, fiscal and exchange rate policies and among macro-economic targets of growth, inflation and fiscal, monetary and external accounts.

The growth momentum in large-scale manufacturing (LSM) continued to remain strong duly supported by better energy supplies; lower commodity prices; and accommodative polices. The sector was able to record a growth of 4.12 percent during Jul-Jan FY 2016 compared to last year growth at 2.15 percent. The year-on-year growth in January 2016 recorded at 5.0 percent compared to 1.52 percent last year. Low prices of international commodities particularly oil and subdued monetary expansion along with contained budgetary borrowings from SBP coupled with better supply of commodities in the market despite rains and floods resulted in the decline of CPI inflation during July-Feb 2015-16 at 2.48 percent compared to 5.45 percent. The other inflation indicators such as food, non-food, core, SPI and WPI are also lower compared to last year.

Current account has posted surplus of $157 million in February 2016 and during the period Jul-Feb, 2015-16 current account deficit narrowed to $1.859 billion compared to $1.947 billion last year on account of stable exchange rate, remarkable reserves and healthy growth of remittances despite high base effects of last year. Workers’ remittances have surged by 6.1 percent to reach $12.714 billion in the first eight months compared to $11.986 billion of last year. The foreign exchange reserves which were at the lowest level in February 2014 has increased to $20.508 billion as on March 21. Pakistan’s foreign exchange reserves are expected to increase more than $22 billion.

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