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Pakistan Reports Higher-Than-Expected Economic Growth


A Pakistan textile laborer works on a power loom in Karachi, the financial capital and the largest industrial city of Pakistan.

Pakistan reports that its economy is on course to grow nearly 4 percent in the fiscal year that ends in June, almost double what the International Monetary Fund and World Bank had projected for the country.

Pakistan’s Planning Ministry on May 21 set growth for the fiscal 2020/21 year at 3.94 percent as the country's economy recovers from the worst of the COVID-19 pandemic’s effect.

The ministry said it raised its earlier provisional estimate of 3 percent based on data on growth in the agricultural (2.77 percent), industrial (3.57 percent), and services (4.43 percent) sectors.

"This growth in a period in which COVID placed a huge challenge to the economy is extremely gratifying," the minister for planning, Asad Umar, wrote in a tweet.

The ministry also revised downward economic growth for the previous year to minus 0.47 percent from minus 0.38 percent for the South Asian country of 220 million people.

The IMF has predicted GDP growth for 2020/21 at 1.5 percent. The World Bank projected 1.3 percent. The IMF had seen 4 percent growth for Pakistan in 2022.

Pakistan's per capita income rose 13.4 percent this year from $1,361 to $1,543, Umar said.

Pakistan entered a $6 billion IMF stabilization program in 2019.

Finance Minister Shaukat Tarin has said the country is negotiating with the IMF to seek easing of "tough conditions" on the loan.

Based on reporting by Reuters and ARY News

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