With industry stagnant, govt aims for 2.3pc growth next year

Updated Jun 04 2020

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FAISALABAD: A farmer works in his field. The government has announced a pro-farmer package while the agriculture sector is targeted to grow by 2.9 per cent next year.—APP
FAISALABAD: A farmer works in his field. The government has announced a pro-farmer package while the agriculture sector is targeted to grow by 2.9 per cent next year.—APP

ISLAMABAD: From a 0.4 per cent economic contraction this year, the government is targeting the national economy to rebound next fiscal year with a 2.3pc growth rate despite a further dip in industrial sector.

The macroeconomic targets for next year would be formally approved by the Annual Plan Coordination Committee on Thursday on the basis of about Rs600 billion public sector development programme.

Documents seen by Dawn suggest the authorities expect the commodity producing sector post a 1.9pc growth next year against -0.1pc this year while services sector would grow by 2.8pc compared to -0.6pc this year. Based on improvements in commodity producing and services sectors, the gross domestic product (GDP) is forecast to post a 2.3pc growth.

Federal development programme to be Rs600bn

The agriculture sector is targeted to grow by 2.9pc next year against 2.7pc growth this year which missed the 3.5pc target. This would be supported by 2.2pc growth in important crops, 2.1pc in other crops and 1.3pc in cotton ginned. Important and other crops this year grew by 2.9pc and 4.6pc this year respectively while cotton ginned went negative by 4.6pc.

The government expects the livestock sector to post a 3.5pc growth next year compared to 2.6pc this year while forestry and fishery sector would expand by 1.5pc and 2.1pc respectively against 2.3pc and 0.6pc this year.

The industry on a whole is projected to remain almost stagnant with just 0.1pc growth compared to -2.6pc dip this year. Mining and quarrying would grow by a negligible 0.5pc.

The manufacturing sector — the core of Pakistan’s industry and export — is projected to remain in negative next year with 0.7pc dip against -5.6pc decline this year. Of this, the large scale manufacturing will contract by -2.5pc compared to -7.8pc this fiscal year.

Small and Household manufacturing, on the other hand, is expected to be saving grace with 6pc growth next year against 1.5pc this year while slaughtering was also expected to grow by 3.3pc against 4.1pc this year.

Electricity generation and gas distribution sector are anticipated to post a minor growth of 1.4pc mainly because of a massive 17.7pc growth registered this year, leaving limited room for further improvement soon.

Interestingly, the government expects the construction sector to grow by just 3.5pc next year despite a massive incentive package announced by Prime Minister Imran Khan.

The construction sector’s anticipated growth appears even unimpressive given an 8.1pc growth this year without the incentives.

The services sector is targeted to grow by 2.8pc next year to be supported by 1.4pc expansion in wholesale and retail trade, 1.5pc in transport, storage and communication and 3.4pc in finance and insurance. Trade services, transport and communication sector posted a 3.4pc and 7pc dip this year while financial services showed 0.8pc growth.

The growth in housing services would remain flat at 4pc like last two years while general government services would grow by 4.6pc against 3.9pc this year. Other private services would expand by 4.2pc next year against 5.4pc this year.

Published in Dawn, June 4th, 2020