1. Market Research
Country Report Pakistan October 2017

Country Report Pakistan October 2017

  • October 2017
  • ID: 325911
  • Format: PDF
  • By The Economist Intelligence Unit

Summary

Table of Contents

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Outlook for 2018-22



  • The Economist Intelligence Unit expects the outlook for political stability to remain poor over 2018-22. Disputes between parties will intensify ahead of the parliamentary election, to be held in the second half of 2018.
  • Shahid Khaqan Abbasi was elected prime minister in August 2017 but the leadership of the ruling Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz), or PML (N), rests firmly with the former prime minister, Nawaz Sharif.
  • The military will maintain its influence on foreign affairs and national security. We expect ties between the civilian government, military and judiciary to remain strained, posing an underlying risk to political stability.
  • The PML (N) is likely to secure re-election on the back of robust economic growth and improvements to energy infrastructure, driven largely by projects implemented as part of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).
  • Real GDP (on an expenditure basis) will expand by 5.1% a year on average in fiscal years 2017/18-2021/22 (July-June). Growth will be underpinned by domestic consumption and investment spending on road and energy projects.
  • Large deficits on the fiscal and current accounts pose major risks to macroeconomic stability throughout the forecast period. We expect the current-account deficit to average the equivalent of 4.2% of GDP over 2018-22.


Review



  • On October 2nd parliament passed the Elections Bill 2017. This enabled Nawaz Sharif to be re-elected for a term of four years as the president of the PML (N). He had previously been disqualified from holding public office.
  • On September 17th Kulsoom Nawaz, the wife of Mr Sharif, secured victory at the by-election for the seat in Lahore that was vacated by her husband.
  • In September the US government put US$255m in an escrow account for military assistance for Pakistan, to be released only when Pakistan does more to crack down on extremist groups targeting Afghanistan.
  • On September 29th Pakistan's chief of army staff, General Qamar Javed Bajwa, met Afghanistan's prime minister, Ashraf Ghani, to discuss how to counter terrorism in the region.
  • The State Bank of Pakistan (the central bank) left its policy interest rate, the target rate, unchanged at 5.75% at its penultimate monetary policy meeting this year, held on September 29th.
  • In an interview with a newspaper, the Financial Times, Mr Abbasi stated that the government was considering curbs on imports of luxury products to reduce downwards pressure on the Pakistan rupee.


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