There was no official poverty, but there were numbers on unemployment: Today, Shaukat Tareen releases the Economic Survey.

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ISLAMABAD: Shaukat Tareen, the Federal Minister of Finance and Revenues, will release the Economic Survey for 2020-21 today (Thursday) without citing the current official poverty and unemployment data.

The Economic Survey for 2020-21 will shed light on the key aspects of the previous fiscal year’s economic performance. It will claim that total debt and liabilities (TDL) reached Rs45 trillion by the end of March 2021, up from Rs44.6 trillion at the end of June 2020. This translates to a 2% increase in 9 months, the lowest increase in TDL in a single year in 15 years. During this time, the government’s total debt increased by 1.5 percent.

Multilateral and bilateral sources were the most important contributions from outside sources. At the conclusion of the third quarter of 2020-21, total debt and liabilities were 95.3 percent of GDP, down from 103 percent the previous year. As a result, total debt and liabilities fell by about 8% in a year. The debt-to-GDP ratio improved mostly as a result of stronger nominal growth, as inflation remained strong, causing nominal growth to increase as well. Second, because the exchange rate improved, the government was able to report an improvement in the debt-to-GDP ratio.

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The government did not use population census figures approved by the Council of Common Interests for calculating per capita income in dollar terms in the outgoing fiscal year, despite a provisional GDP growth rate of 3.94 percent and per capita income of $1,543. As a result, the government missed around 9 million people when calculating per capita income in dollar terms. Officials argued that the National Institute of Policy Studies’ spadework was essential for the population census (NIPS). When this is completed, the entire series of per capita income will be changed to reflect this.

The agriculture sector met its growth target, though at a slower pace than the previous year, growing by 2.8 percent in the previous fiscal year versus 3.3 percent in 2019-20.

The manufacturing sector grew by 8.7% in the previous fiscal year, compared to 7.4% the previous year, with large-scale manufacturing (LSM) growing by 9.3% to lead the manufacturing sector’s overall growth.

The Covid-19 outbreak exacerbated the industrial sector’s economic troubles, which saw a significant decrease last year.

Automobiles topped the list with a 23.4 percent increase, followed by food & beverages (11.7 percent), petroleum & coke group (12.7 percent), and pharmaceuticals (12.6 percent), while electronics, engineering products, and leather saw contractions of 20.8 percent, 25.5 percent, and 38.3 percent, respectively, due to rising demand. Based on July-March 2020-21, LSM increased by 9.3%, compared to 5.1 percent decrease in the same period last year.

In the first ten months, the current account balance stayed in the black, but exports soared thanks to a substantial increase in world prices for our products. Imports were under pressure as the economy grew and world prices rose.

In the first ten months of 2020-21 (July-April), the current account surplus was $0.773 billion (0.3 percent of GDP), compared to a deficit of $4.7 billion in the same period last year. All components lead to a total improvement of $5.4 billion in the CAB, with the exception of a $3.7 billion worsening of the trade imbalance.

The trade deficit worsened due to a $5 billion rise in imports, which was somewhat offset by a $1.3 billion gain in exports. Remittances accounted for nearly all of the $4.5 billion improvement. The current account surplus for 2020-21 is expected to be $200 million, with a trade deficit of $25.2 billion and remittances of $29.1 billion.


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