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Pakistan Reader# 508, 11 January 2023

World Bank releases Global Economic Prospects; predicts a two per cent drop in GDP growth



The report blamed the floods and the global economic slowdown for Pakistan’s dropping growth rate in 2023.

Avishka Ashok

On 10 January, the World Bank’s Global Economic Prospects (GEP) report predicted that Pakistan’s economic growth would further slow down by two per cent in 2023. The new forecast predicts a two per cent drop in the growth rate from its June 2022 estimate. According to the World Bank, the slowdown of the global economy and the devastating floods are the primary reasons for Pakistan’s slowing growth rate. The GEP report further hinted at a “sharp, long-lasting slowdown” and claimed that the country’s performance would bring down the regional growth-rate along with its national output.  
 
The World Bank observed that the policy uncertainty, damages caused by the floods, and increase in poverty added to Pakistan’s previously treacherous economic conditions. The economy already suffers from a low foreign exchange reserve, and large fiscal and current account deficits. The climate disasters further added to the strain on the economy as it impacted one-third of Pakistan’s land area and caused damage to the infrastructure. During the floods and in its aftermath, over 15 per cent of the population was directly affected. The report said: “Recovery and reconstruction needs are expected to be 1.6 times the FY2022-23 national development budget.”  
 
Another challenge that perturbs Pakistan is the rising food prices in the country.  The imposition of export bans on food by other countries in the region has also created unprecedented challenges and heightened the food scarcity in South Asia. Numerous households in the country are also subjected to less nutritious meals and frequent electricity blackouts.

References
World Bank cuts Pakistan’s GDP growth forecast in half,” Dawn, 11 January 2023

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