Pakistan has been performing exceptionally well economically, despite the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. A week ago, we learnt that the World Bank expects Pakistan to earn a tremendous $24 billion in remittances this year. And now, according to a new Business Optimism Index (BOI) survey, we know that businesses in Pakistan are incredibly optimistic about their growth and success.
The Business Optimism Index report for Pakistan was introduced by Dunn & Bradstreet earlier in 2020. In the first quarter of this year, it assigned a score of 144.6 points to the country, which compared to the benchmark neutral value of 100 points was fairly good. That first report highlighted the fact that Large Companies were relatively more optimistic than Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs), as the former garnered a BOI score of 149.5 points compared to the latter’s 137.3. Moreover, Service sector companies were found to be more optimistic than Trading and Manufacturing sector companies.
And then, as we know, COVID-19 struck the world and business activity was naturally affected on a global level. Complete lockdown was imposed from March to May, and as a result, we witnessed large-scale business disruptions. Therefore, for the second quarter, Pakistan’s BOI score sat at 112.8 points, which was quite a drop from where it was at the start of the year.
However, the subsequent ‘smart lockdown’ imposed in the country, and an intelligent system of advancing economic activity while also following the SOPs, resulted in a boost in business optimism all across the country. So much so that now, for the third quarter, Pakistan’s BOI score is a solid 146.5 points. That’s a boost of 33.7 points over the previous quarter!
This just goes on to show that while Pakistan was hit hard by COVID-19, it certainly did a great job of bouncing back. Businesses have renewed confidence, and that optimism is great for the country’s economic future as a whole.