Govt unveils Economic Survey 2023-24 today

ISLAMABAD   -   The federal government is all set to present the Economic Survey 2023-24 today, as the economic indicators have shown a mix performance.

Finance Minister Senator Muhammad Aurangzeb will launch the Economic Survey 2023-24. The survey comes ahead of the federal budget for the fiscal year 2024-25, which is scheduled to be presented on June 12 (Wednesday). The Economic Survey will provide details about the major socio-economic developments, performance, and economic trends of various sectors of the economy, including agriculture, manufacturing & industry, services, energy, information technology & telecom, capital markets, health, education, transport and communication etc. Annual trends of major economic indicators regarding inflation, trade and payments, public debt, population, employment, climate change, and social protections will also be described in detail in the survey.

The government has missed the economic growth rate target, as it remained at 2.38 percent as against the projected 3.5 percent. Similarly, inflation rate target was also missed it recorded at over 24 percent in eleven months (July to May) of the current fiscal year as compared to the target of 21 percent. However, the industrial sector also failed to meet targets, with industrial growth at only 1.2% percent against the targeted 3.4 percent. Manufacturing also fell short, achieving 2.4 percent compared to the 4.3 percent target. Similarly, the performance of major industries was 0.1 percent against the target of 3.2 percent, while the services sector saw modest growth of 1.2 percent below the targeted 3.6 percent. The targets of electricity, gas, wholesale, retail, transport sectors, financial, insurance, communication, national savings were also not met.

However, some sectors have performed well. The agriculture sector performed well, surpassing the target of 3.4 percent to a growth rate of 4 percent, particularly in staple crop production, which recorded a significant improvement of 16.8 percent as opposed to the target of 3 percent. Major crops such as wheat, rice, and corn saw impressive increases in production.

On the external front, the trade deficit remained a concern, with imports exceeding exports by a significant margin.

Remittances and exports remained below their annual targets, while imports exceeded expectations, contributing to a widening trade deficit. The annual remittances target was $30.53 billion, which remained at $27 billion in the 11 months of the ongoing fiscal year. Annual exports remained at $28 billion in 11 months, against the target of $30 billion.

Furthermore, the current account deficit reached $202 million in 10 months against the annual target of $6 billion, indicating ongoing challenges in maintaining a balanced external account. The imports failed to achieve the target of $58.69 billion and remained $49.80 billion.

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