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Pakistan growth target 3.6% next year, inflation to dip to 12%, ministry says

Pakistan growth target 3.6% next year, inflation to dip to 12%, ministry says
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Pakistan’s Planning Ministry said on Friday that the economic outlook for the next year was positive, with a growth target of 3.6 per cent, while inflation was likely to moderate to 12 per cent.

Pakistan will present its annual budget on June 10, three days later than expected, two government sources said on Friday, as markets wait for details of plans seen as crucial to securing a new International Monetary Fund (IMF) loan. Pakistan’s fiscal year starts on July 1.

“The growth prospects hinge upon political stability, exchange rate, macroeconomic stabilization under IMF’s programme and expected fall in global oil and commodity prices,” the ministry said in its annual plan review.

Earlier in May, in its half-yearly report, Pakistan’s central bank said the economy was grappling with structural bottlenecks exacerbated by political uncertainty, despite some improvement in macroeconomic indicators. It predicted real GDP growth of 2 per cent-3 per cent for fiscal 2024.

The Planning Ministry said the fiscal deficit would narrow on the back of fiscal consolidation measures, and that domestic average inflation was likely to moderate to 12 per cent owing to falls in global inflation.

Pakistani inflation is set to come in between 13.5 per cent and 14.5 per cent in May and to ease further to 12.5 per cent to 13.5 per cent by June, the finance ministry said on Wednesday in a monthly update.

Pakistan has been beset by inflation above 20 per cent since May 2022, registering a high of 38 per cent in May 2023, as it navigated reforms as part of an International Monetary Fund bailout programme. However, inflation has slowed over the past few months.

The planning ministry added that the Annual Plan Coordination Committee had approved an estimated 1.22 trillion rupees ($4.39 billion) for public sector development spending during the next fiscal year, lower than the 2.8 trillion rupees ($10 billion) requested by the ministries, due to fiscal constraints.

($1 = 278.1000 Pakistani rupees)

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