IMF projects 4.5% economic growth for Pakistan in 2016, 4.7% in 2017


WASHINGTON, April 13 (APP): Pakistan’s economy is projected to grow  4.5 percent in 2016 and 4.7 percent in 2017, according to the new World Economic Outlook by the International Monetary Fund released on Tuesday.
However, growth in the Middle East, North Africa, Afghanistan and  Pakistan (MENAP) region has weakened considerably because of further decline of further declines in oil prices and intensifying conflicts and security risks.
“Growth in the region overall is projected at 3.1 percent in 2016 and  3.5 percent in 2017, 0.8 percentage point and 0.7 percentage point weaker, respectively, than projected in the October 2015 WEO,” the report said.
For the global outlook, the IMF downward revised its forecast for the  2016 to 3.2 percent compared to its earlier project made in January. The recovery is projected to strengthen in 2017 and beyond, driven primarily by emerging market and developing economies.
However, the report says that uncertainty has increased, and risks of  weaker growth scenarios are becoming more tangible. Preliminary data suggest that global growth during the second half of 2015, at 2.8 percent, was weaker than previously forecast, with a sizable slowdown during the last quarter of the year.
The unexpected weakness in late 2015 reflected to an important extent  softer activity in advanced economies especially in the United States, but also in Japan and other advanced Asian economies.
The picture for emerging markets is quite diverse, with high growth  rates in China and most of emerging Asia, but severe macroeconomic conditions in Brazil, Russia, and a number of other commodity exporters.
Oil prices are projected to increase gradually over the forecast  horizon, from an average of about $35 a barrel in 2016 to $41 a barrel in 2017, the outlook says. In contrast, nonfuel commodity prices are expected to stabilize around recent levels.
“Geopolitical tensions are assumed to stay elevated in 2016, with the  situation in Russia and Ukraine remaining difficult and strife continuing in some countries in the Middle East.”
Oil prices decreased further by 32 percent between August 2015 and  February 2016 on account of strong supply from members of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and Russia, expectations of higher supply from Iran, and concerns about the resilience of global demand and medium-term growth prospects.
Global financial conditions are assumed to remain broadly accommodative,  but with some segments notably commodities and related industries and oil- exporting
countries facing tighter financing conditions.
The process of monetary policy normalization in the United States, the  world’s largest economy, is assumed to proceed smoothly, without sharp movements in long-term interest rates.
The tightening of financial conditions for some emerging market  economies over the past few months, with rising interest rate spreads and declining equity prices, is expected to persist.