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KARACHI: The State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) will announce the policy statement for next two months on Friday with expectations of a status quo.

The Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) of the SBP will meet on Friday (Jan 22) at the SBP Karachi to review the economic indicators and decide about the Monetary Policy. State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) Governor Dr Reza Baqir will chair the meeting and later on announce the decision at a press conference.

Since June 2020, the committee has kept the policy rate unchanged at 7 percent to support the economy, which was badly hurt due to Covid-19 pandemic and recorded negative 0.4 percent GDP growth in FY20.

Most of economist and analysts are optimistic about the inflation outlook and expecting that the committee will keep the policy rate unchanged at 7 percent for next two months to support the economic recovery. “We expect interest rate to remain stable at current level as inflation is likely to move towards lower side in January,” they added.

Other economic key indicators are also showing improvement. Workers’ remittances have maintained strong growth for the seventh consecutive months in December. Pakistan is receiving over $2 billion home remittances since June 2020. On cumulative basis, with 25 percent growth workers’ remittances reached on unprecedented level of $14 billion mark during the first half of this fiscal year (FY21).

Pakistan’s external account is also performing well and current account was $1.64 billion surplus in July-Nov of FY21 compared to a deficit $1.745 billion in same period of last fiscal year. In addition, with support of healthy home remittance inflows, the country’s total foreign exchange reserves are stood over $20.5 billion mark.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021