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Friday, June 3

Economic progress, Pakistani style

Bloomberg, June 2:

Pakistan is targeting the fastest growth in more than a decade to boost revenue as it wraps up a three-year, $6.6 billion International Monetary Fund loan program.
Gross domestic product is forecast to expand 5.7 percent in the year starting July 1 on higher infrastructure spending, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif said this week ahead of the nation’s budget presentation on Friday.
If Sharif is successful, it will be the first time in at least a decade that any Pakistani government has hit a growth target.  Nonetheless, the economy’s accelerating expansion since he took office in 2013 has put Pakistan’s stocks and currency among Asia’s best performers during that time.
“We have achieved macroeconomic stability, the next goal is growth,” Finance Minister Ishaq Dar told reporters on Thursday in the capital, Islamabad. “Pakistan doesn’t need another IMF program.”
[I now skip over a lot of blather to get to the punch line]
“They will remain disciplined,” said Raza Jafri, director, research and development, at Intermarket Securities Ltd. “The IMF program will be ending but you are still getting a lot of money from Asian Development Bank and World Bank.”

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