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Business & Finance

Pakistan entering third COVID-19 wave with strong economic indicators: Baqir

  • Baqir appreciated the role of Overseas Pakistanis for their role in maintaining the growth in remittances. “We have to thank Overseas Pakistan for the unparalleled growth we are seeing in our remittances,” he said.
Updated 12 Apr 2021

Governor State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) Dr. Reza Raza Baqir on Monday said that Pakistan is entering the third economic wave with strong economic indicators.

"We are entering the third Corona wave with strong economic indicators," said Baqir, while addressing an event held at the Pakistan Stock Exchange (PSX), with SBP Governor ringing the traditional bell.

Baqir appreciated the role of Overseas Pakistanis for their role in maintaining the growth in remittances. “We have to thank Overseas Pakistan for the unparalleled growth we are seeing in our remittances,” he said.

As per the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) latest figures, remittances rose to $2.7 billion in March 2021, 20 percent higher than last month and 43 percent higher than March 2020. Cumulatively during July-Mar FY 21, remittances have risen to $21.5 billion, up by 26 percent over the same period of FY20.

Talking about the real economy of the country the State Bank of Pakistan Governor highlighted that the latest Large Scale Manufacturing Index shown 9 percent year on year growth in January of this year, while cement sales that are not only used for housing and construction but also for exports showed a growth of 44pc year on year in March that translates into a figure of 5.4 million tonnes in March 2021.

“This is important because the employment in the informal sector is a lot more now than it was one year ago,” said Baqir. Whereas in the auto sector, the sale of passenger cars grew 35pc year on year in February, said Baqir.

The SBP chief said that the central bank’s FMCG index, which is a good indicator of demand shows the growth of in the second quarter of this fiscal year of 17.8pc in nominal terms, and in real terms that growth comes to 8.7pc in the second quarter.

"If you look at the supply side indicators or the demand side indicators, we are now seeing a momentum that was not present last year," said Baqir.

SBP Governor said that Pakistan has returned to the global capital market by issuing Eurobonds.

In response to a question, Baqir said that for the first time in history, the housing and construction sector is being expanded. He informed that the Prime Minister is taking interest in the housing sector and meets every week.