Pakistan misses GDP target for current year

Islamabad: Pakistan missed the economic growth target for the current financial year by a wide margin as its GDP grew by 4.7 per cent against the target of 5.5 per cent, a media report said on Saturday.

The target was missed mainly because of dismal performance by the agriculture sector, which is the mainstay of economy.

At a meeting of the national accounts committee comprising senior representatives from the four provinces and regions and technical experts on Friday, the performance of all economic sectors was added up that showed higher than targeted growth by the industrial sector, Dawn reported.

The services sector achieved its growth target of 5.7 percent.

“But the most worrying aspect of the year was a 0.19 per cent negative growth by agriculture as a whole against the target of 3.9 percent,” it reported.

Cotton output led the freefall in the agriculture sector, considered the backbone of the national economy, as it posted a negative growth of 27 percent.

The cotton output stood at 10.1 million bales against the target of 13.96 million bales. Last year, its output stood at 13.9 million bales with a 9.5 per cent growth.

The industrial sector, favoured by the ruling Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz government, booms as the agriculture sector suffers in the current financial year. As a result, cotton ginning declined by 21 percent against the target of 5 percent.

Important crops output fell by 7.18 percent against the target of 3.2 per cent, while other crops fell by 6.2 percent against the target of 4.5 percent. The livestock sector grew by 3.63 per cent, but remained short of the 4.1 percent target, while fisheries increased by 3.3 per cent, surpassing the 3 percent target.

Forestry was the only saving grace in the agriculture sector as it grew by 8.8 percent against the target of 4 percent.

On an overall basis, industry grew by 6.8 percent against the target of 6.4 percent.

The mining and quarrying sector grew by 6.8 percent against the target of 6 percent, but the overall manufacturing sector could not meet growth expectations.

The manufacturing sector posted a growth of 5 percent, but remained short of the 6.1 percent target.

It had grown by 3.2 percent last year.