Pakistan Govt Paints Gloomy Outlook Of Economy
The Pakistani government, while projecting a further hike in inflation coupled with a slowdown of the economy, has said that delay in finalising a deal with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) was causing economic distress in the country. In its monthly outlook report, the finance ministry also said that political instability has started feeding strong inflationary expectations. Inflation in March may remain in the upper bound as observed in February when it was 31.5%, the ministry stated. Although it did not give a figure this time, the market is expecting inflation to shoot up to 36%. The ministry said that a “potential reason of rising price level is political and economic uncertainty”. It also noted that delay in finalising the IMF programme was causing more pain. “The economic distress resulting from delay of the stabilisation programme has exacerbated the economic uncertainty due to which inflationary expectations have remained strong,” the report said, reports The Express Tribune. Pakistan has been struggling hard to revive the $6.5 billion derailed IMF programme, although its own missteps like the petrol subsidy and attempts to directly borrow from commercial banks have further complicated matters for the country.