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The Asian Development Bank (ADB) on Wednesday said Pakistan’s economic growth in the fiscal year 2023 remained lower than expectations.

The projection was weighed down by tighter monetary and fiscal policies to safeguard macroeconomic stability, pervasive inflation, and significant damage from flooding, read Asian Development Outlook (ADO) July 2023.

However, it maintained forecast for Pakistan’s economy in FY2024 on the assumption that external and domestic conditions improve.

It also said that the ADO April 2023 projection for Pakistan in FY2024 assumes that the government will continue reforms as recommended by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) under a new policy-support program approved on July 12.

Moreover, the report said that actual inflation in Pakistan in FY2023 was higher than projected, leaving the sub-regional forecast unchanged.

“Continued demand-side pressures in Pakistan play an outsized role in the upward revision to the sub-regional inflation forecast for 2024,” it said.

Given balancing developments, growth forecasts for East Asia are maintained at 4.6% in 2023 and at 4.2% in 2024. For South Asia, growth forecasts are at 5.5% in 2023 and 6.1% in 2024, and for the Pacific at 3.3% in 2023 and 2.8% in 2024.

Southeast Asia’s growth prospects are downgraded slightly from 4.7% to 4.6% in 2023 and from 5.0% to 4.9% in 2024, reflecting weaker global demand for manufactured exports

Meanwhile, ADB cut its inflation forecast for developing Asia, as food and fuel prices eased, supply chain disruptions waned and interest rate hikes started to bite.

Inflation, which has squeezed household budgets and left millions of poor households struggling to put food on the table, is heading back towards pre-Covid levels, the Philippines-based lender said.

It expects inflation of 3.6% this year, compared with its forecast in April of 4.2% as prices in China eased sharply, the bank said in its flagship outlook report.

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