IMF Says Pakistan’s Financial Outlook is Bleak

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has projected that the unemployment ratio in Pakistan will increase to 6.1 percent in 2018 against 6 percent in 2017.

The latest IMF World Economic Outlook (WEO) report states that some countries in the Commonwealth of Independent States and the Middle East, North Africa, including Afghanistan and Pakistan are experiencing continued inflationary pressures in 2017 as a result of exchange rate depreciations, the removal of subsidies, or increases in excise or value-added taxes.

Economic prospects in Pakistan have improved, with growth expected to reach 5.3 percent in 2017 and 5.6 percent in 2018, benefiting from investment in the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor and strong private sector credit, said the IMF.

The Fund has further projected consumer prices at 4.1 percent and 4.8 percent for 2017 and 2018 respectively against 2.9 percent for 2016. The current account deficit is projected at 4.9 percent for 2018 against 4 percent in 2017.

The report maintained that in the Middle East, North Africa, Afghanistan, and Pakistan, growth is projected to slow significantly in 2017 to 2.6 percent (from 5.0 percent in 2016) on the back of a slowdown in the Islamic Republic of Iran’s economy after very fast growth in 2016 and cuts in oil production in oil exporters through March 2018 under the extended OPEC agreement.


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