After recording a 5.3% annual growth rate, the economy of Pakistan has now joined others that are valued at $300 billion or more. The growth came due to a strong recovery in the agricultural sector coupled with exemplary growth in the services sector. According to the National Accounts Committee (NAC), the gross domestic product grew by 5.28% for the fiscal year 2016-17 ending on the 30th of June. Caution should be taken since this is a provisional figure that will only get validation after the end of the fiscal year on the 30th of June.
Since the Pakistani economy was devastated by the world economic collapse of 2008, the economy has recovered to the 5.3% growth mark it had previously. For the next fiscal year (2017-18), the government has its sights on a 6% rate of growth.
The government had, however, set a target of 5.7% growth rate but fell by the wayside. The more-than-5% growth rate has seen the economy balloon to more than $304.4 billion for the first time.
Of this record-beating figures, the services sector contributed at least 67% of it. The rest was contributed by the agricultural and industrial sectors. Although the industrial and agricultural sectors had received a lot of attention from the government, only the agricultural sector beat its target.
This growth rate is also less than what is needed to absorb all the youths seeking jobs in the country. Any growth below this level would have only led to an increase in the rate of unemployment. Also making a dent in the good news is the fact that the government failed to achieve its exports target of $24.8 billion to hit $21.7 billion with $45.2 billion of imports anticipated.
The government also missed the target set for the current account deficit which was at $4.5 billion. The expected current account deficit is but $8.3 billion which is almost two times larger than the target.
All in all, the news of the economy surpassing the $300 billion mark is most welcome.