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IMF sees bleak economic future for Pakistan

October 27, 2011 - Washington

The International Monetary Fund expects Pakistan's 2011-12 fiscal deficit to widen to 6.5 per cent of its gross domestic product (GDP), according to its new report.

Pakistan's fiscal deficit was 5.9 per cent in 2010-11 and 1.1 per cent of the GDP for three months, ending September 30, the Dawn reports.

The IMF Outlook for the Middle East, North Africa, Afghanistan, and Pakistan (MENAP) also forecasts a GDP growth of 2.6 per cent for Pakistan in the fiscal year ending in June 2012, compared with the government's target of 4.2 per cent.

It expects inflation to average at 13 per cent compared with the government's target of 12 per cent.

Similarly, imports are estimated at around 46 billion dollars, while the exports trail behind at an estimated 30 billion dollars during 2011-12.

The IMF warns that the widening deficit could threaten Pakistan's economic stability and hit its sovereign ratings.

The report portrays Pakistan and Libya as among those characterised as having the most difficult business environments in the MENAP region.

Pakistan is also among the countries experiencing smaller increases in import costs, because of weaker economic activity and lower oil intensity.


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