Bangladesh has reported 5.24 per cent GDP growth in FY 2019-20 with the coronavirus pandemic ravaging the economy for at least a third of the financial year.
The size of the GDP stood past Tk 27.96 trillion while per capita GNI surged to $2,064 from $1,909 the previous fiscal year.
After the Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics, or BBS, published the latest data on Monday, Planning Minister MA Mannan expressed happiness calling the GDP growth “promising”.
“We had to go through different adversities. Almost everything was closed for four months from March to June. I would say that a 5.24 per cent growth even after these hurdles is a very good growth,” he was quoted by bdnews24.com as saying.
He thanked the people for “fending off the adversities and keeping the wheels of the economy rolling”.
“The World Bank and IMF forecast that our GDP growth would be below 2.0 per cent. But we have achieved a respectable growth proving them wrong,” the minister said.
“I think many big countries will not be able to achieve this much growth,” he added.
Ziauudin Ahmed, the director of national accounting at BBS, said the figures published on Monday were from initial data and the final ones will be published within two months.
With the economy almost fully reopened, the government has kept the annual GDP growth target for 2020-21 fiscal year unchanged at 8.2 per cent.
The economy grew by a record 8.15 percent in FY 2018-19.
Bangladesh's gross domestic product would grow by 4.5 per cent in fiscal year 2020 and 7.5 per cent in fiscal year 2021, the Asian Development Bank said in June.
The World Bank in an April forecast the worst economic slump in Bangladesh in 40 years.
It said the country’s economy might post a growth between 2.0 per cent and 3.0 per cent in fiscal 2020, followed by 1.2 per cent to 2.9 per cent in fiscal 2021.
The International Monetary Fund in June almost halved its GDP growth forecast for Bangladesh in 2019-20 to 3.8 per cent, about 3.5 percentage points less than the projection the IMF had forecast before the pandemic had begun.
The Centre for Policy Dialogue also forecast that Bangladesh would not able to post more than 2.5 per cent GDP growth in the fiscal year that ended on June 30.
The government had revised the target down to 5.2 per cent from 8.2 per cent after the coronavirus crisis had begun.
Researcher Zaid Bakht believes 5.24 per cent GDP growth is “nothing unusual” despite the pandemic.
“Because agricultural production was good. Remittances sent by the expatriates shattered records,” noted the director of Bangladesh Institute of Development Studies.