The total liquid foreign reserves of Pakistan touched a new high as they reached at US$ 23.29 billion in the week ending on May 28.
According to a statement issued by the State Bank of Pakistan on Thursday, SBP reserves increased by US$ 272 million to US$ 16,133.6 million, due to Government of Pakistan’s official inflows.
Out of total liquid foreign reserves of US$ 23,294.1 million, the net foreign reserves held by commercial banks stood at US$ 7,160.5 million.
Total liquid foreign #reserves held by the country stood at US$ 23.29 billion as of May 28, 2021. For details: https://t.co/WpSgomENV3 pic.twitter.com/XH007ERzqg
— SBP (@StateBank_Pak) June 3, 2021
According to SBP data, the highest ever foreign exchange reserves, earlier, were recorded
US$ 23,098.5 million in fiscal year 2015-16 while since April 2021 an upward trend was being observed in liquid foreign reserves.
Pakistan’s ‘unexpected’ economic growth
It is important to note the economy has sprung a surprise, growing nearly 4% in the outgoing fiscal year on the back of a healthy momentum in all main sectors. The unexpected economic activity beats expectations of the government and the international financial institutions by a wide margin.
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The provisional Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth rate of 3.94% is almost double than the official target of 2.1%. But it was a surprise even for the State Bank of Pakistan and the Ministry of Finance which initially termed the figure unrealistically high during a meeting convened to approve the growth figure.
The 4% growth rate was higher than the SBP’s estimates of 3% and the IMF’s projection of 2% for this fiscal year. The World Bank, too, had predicted a GDP growth rate of no more than 1.5%.
The 103rd meeting of the National Accounts Committee (NAC) approved provisional estimates of 3.94% of the GDP, announced the Ministry of Planning and Development after the meeting. Planning Secretary Hamid Yaqoob Sheikh chaired the NAC meeting –a body having representation of all the stakeholders. In the last fiscal year, the economy had contracted to 0.5%.
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Analysts believe that if the current pace of economic growth is maintained, the country is expected to have 6% growth at the end of the ruling party’s term in 2023.
APP with additional input by GVS News Desk