With production of wheat slated to fall short of targets by a million tons, speculation is rife in the market about an imminent food shortage. During the last few weeks, the same speculation has led to considerable panic in the market and significant hoarding is underway, already driving up prices of the staple commodity.
There is no respite from the soaring fiscal deficit; for 9MFY13 it stood at 4.4 percent as compared to 4.3 percent in the corresponding period last year and the budgeted target of 4.7 percent for the entire fiscal.
Once the most popular political force in Pakistan, the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) has made history in the General Elections 2013 by almost being history itself. For the first time in the country’s history, PPP does not find itself amongst the top-two parties in terms of number of votes secured.
Among the promises made by PML-N in its manifesto to revive the economy, keeping the interest rates and inflation in check are the ones that seem to have most appealed to treasury market participants. The turnaround in market behaviour in the recent T-bills auctions speaks volumes for what they expect out of the newly elected government.
April saw Pakistan’s current account balance improve by about 36 percent month-on-month. Figures for 10 months ending April 2013 also show a betterment of nearly 60 percent. Yet, questions loom large about the quality of this improvement.
Now that the frantic election week is almost over, the real test of the winners lies ahead. All eyes are docked to a major plight of the masses - five years of severe energy torture, and the magnanimous hopes pinned on the new leadership.