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Country Forecast Bangladesh December 2017 Updater

Country Forecast Bangladesh December 2017 Updater

  • December 2017
  • ID: 358871
  • Format: PDF
  • By The Economist Intelligence Unit


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  • The Economist Intelligence Unit expects that the Awami League (AL) government will win a majority in the legislative election scheduled for 2019. The failure of the AL and the opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party to resolve a disagreement over the electoral process poses a small but ongoing risk to political stability and the legitimacy of the next parliamentary election.
  • Small, religiously motivated incidents of violence will occur frequently in 2018-22, and there is a strong possibility of larger armed attacks. The appeal of Bangladesh to foreign investors will remain vulnerable to bouts of social and political unrest. However, the security forces will prevent any marked deterioration in law and order.
  • Foreign policy will focus on ties with key regional players. Political and economic ties with India and, to a lesser extent, Japan will continue to deepen over the forecast period. Relations with China will also be strong, with a particular focus on economic, investment and trade ties.
  • Policymakers will accord a high priority to improving electricity supplies but will continue to face challenges in meeting demand. Private electricity producers will achieve some success in this area, but power rationing will continue in 2018-22 as rising industrial and consumer demand outstrips increasing capacity.
  • The government will continue to run budget deficits throughout the forecast period. With the exception of an interest-rate increase in 2018 aimed at arresting inflation, we expect Bangladesh Bank (the central bank) to maintain a broadly accommodative monetary policy stance during the forecast period.
  • Real GDP growth will average 6.8% a year in fiscal years 2017/18-2021/22 (July-June), bolstered by sustained gains in private consumption and investment. Private consumption will be supported by rising personal incomes (from a still-low base). Government spending growth will also accelerate in the run-up to the 2019 parliamentary election, which will further support economic growth.
  • The trade deficit is forecast to widen to US$10.2bn in 2022, from US$9.9bn in 2018, as Bangladesh will remain highly dependent on imports for its fuel needs, inputs for the export-oriented readymade garment sector and capital goods for infrastructure development.
  • Growth in remittance inflows will be limited over the forecast period, owing to fiscal consolidation and immigration-curbing policies in the Gulf countries. This will result in an annual current-account deficit equivalent to 1.2% of GDP on average in 2018-22.

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