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Standard Chartered Bank expects Pakistan?s GDP growth to tally 4.4 percent in FY16. This forecast is lower than the expectations of the government of Pakistan, the IMF as well as Citibank which expects five percent growth in this fiscal.
The Rabi season saw a contrasting start in terms of nutrient application to the soil. The urea off-take for October 2015 dropped down to under 200 thousand tons for the second month running ? the lowest monthly reading in ten years. On the other hand, the phosphate DAP fertilizer off take skyrocketed to over half a million tons in just one month ? an unprecedented level ? and easily the highest ever for a single month, let alone October.
As winter is knocking the door, the local sale of fish and seafood has increased quite significantly. The domestic consumption of the fish will go up further once the winter takes the country into its full grip. However, in the global export market Pakistan has failed yet again to utilize the economic benefits of seafood exports.
From crude oil to metals, free-falling commodity prices have been a key feature of 2015. It has been a tough year for the producers and commodity-exporting countries who have been waiting for a respite for long. Against the backdrop of the impending interest rate rise in the United States and slowdown of Chinese economy, the global demand and supply of commodities are not showing very promising signs of a revival, as per Economic Intelligence Unit?s recent commodity outlook.
The tobacco value chain is the most enterprising SME sector in Pakistan, says a report recently released by the SBP. Although its cultivation may not be that widespread, tobacco not only earns forex but contributes the most to Pakistan?s excise tax base. Unfortunately, there are two main problems that have capped the growth of this industry ? illegal cigarettes and lack of agricultural credit.
While Pakistan and Turkey have always maintained friendly relations, the two nations and their governments are perhaps closer today than ever before. The strengthened relations and heightened interactions are well worth the time for Pakistan and its authorities. After all, much can be learnt from that country?s progress over the past decade or so, in areas which are very relevant to Pakistan.
History tells us that a Nawaz Sharif government doesn?t get to complete its third year. Sharif was PM for two years and six months in his first term and for two years and eight months in the second before he was sent packing. Sharif is now nearly halfway through his third term. Regardless of whichever side of political spectrum one is on, it seems the government could use some introspection and action.


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Foreign Debt $62.649bn
Per Cap Income $1,512
GDP Growth 4.24%
Average CPI 8.6%
Trade Balance $-2.197 bln
Exports $1.729 bln
Imports $3.926 bln
WeeklyNovember 23, 2015
Reserves $19.713 bln