An outlook on economic situation as second half of financial year 2023-24 is underway

Engineering Post Report

Financial year 2023-24 has entered its second half and one can have an outlook on the economic situation  as viewed by the experts on being contacted.

The economy of Pakistan is by and large envisaged to grow on the whole by 3.5 percent  during the ongoing financial year by end June 2024 with projections of  35 percent for agriculture sector, 3.4 percent for industrial sector and 3.6 percent for services sector. However, the revival of growth was dependent on political and macroeconomic stability as  the country is going to the general polls on February  08, 2024 if all goes well, external account improvement, supportive monetary and fiscal policies and  expected  fall in the global oil and commodity prices.

The industrial sector was most  likely expected  to recover during the ongoing financial year by the time it ends as demand and shocks were expected to dissipate considerably. It has been expected by the experts that the industrial sector will grow by 3.4 percent with Large Scale Manufacturing (LSM)  at 3.2 percent, , mining and quarrying 1.2 percent, small and  household  manufacturing 8.8 percent, electricity generation and gas distribution 2.2 percent and construction only by 1.5 percent.

Industrial sector was on the whole expected to get a boost from  improved inputs and energy supplies on the back of anticipated fall in  global oil  and commodity prices, public sector  expenditure and mega projects for industrial development. 

However,  there were downside  risks as well of high interest rates and exchange rate uncertainties which may raise the costs of working capital and raw material. Similarly, construction in the housing sector and infrastructure projects was also likely to be affected somewhat adversely by higher prices of construction material.

Services sector  was also expected to accelerate its growth to 3.6 percent  during the ongoing financial year. The envisaged growth in the commodity pricing sectors was also likely to complement the targeted growth in the services sector.  Uptick in the economic activity in the manufacturing and agriculture sectors was expected to translate into increased  growth  in the wholesale and retail  trade and transport, storage and communications sectors/sub-sectors. Moreover, the tourism industry was also expected  to gain momentum   and generate socio-economic  dividends that will hopefully l  have a trickledown  effect   on retail  trade,  hotels and restaurants in the country by and ;large.

Furthermore, investment to Gross Domestic Product (GDP) was also expected to marginally  increase from 13.6 percent in 2022-23 to 15.1 percent during the year under report here hopefully  due to stabilization  and political activity. Fixed  investment was  expected to grow  by 40.4 percent on nominal basis whereas  as a percentage of GDP, it was expected to increase to 13.4 percent during the current financial 2023-24 as  compared to 11.9 percent  in 2022-23. National savings rate was targeted at  13.4 percent of  GDP, the experts concluded.