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The Financial Express

WB revises GDP growth forecast to 7.0pc

$250m credit deal with the global lender signed


| Updated: January 14, 2019 09:50:00


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Reuters file photo Reuters file photo

The World Bank (WB) has projected a 7.0 per cent economic growth for Bangladesh in fiscal year (FY) 2018-19.

The WB has also forecast a 6.8 per cent GDP (gross domestic product) growth for the country in FY 2019-20 and FY 2020-21 each.

The global lender made the projections in its 'Global Economic Prospects (GEP)' of January 2019.

In its GEP of June 2018, the WB projected a 6.7 per cent GDP growth in FY 2018-19 for the country.

In Bangladesh, robust economic activity is expected to be sustained, the WB said in its GEP.

"GDP growth is forecast at 7.0 per cent in FY2018-19 and is expected to decelerate only slightly over the forecast horizon," it added.

Activity will be supported by strong private consumption and investment on the back of infrastructure projects, it pointed out.

According to the WB, net exports are projected to contribute negatively to the GDP growth as imports outpace exports in response to strong domestic demand.

In Bangladesh, growth was broad-based, remaining strong at an estimated 7.9 per cent in FY 2017-18, the WB said, adding that private consumption was the main driver of growth, supported by strong remittance inflows.

Net exports turned negative because of rising food and capital machinery imports and weak exports, it mentioned.

Meanwhile, the World Bank (WB) and the government signed a US$ 250-million credit agreement for implementing the 'First Programmatic Jobs Development Policy Credit' on Wednesday.

Economic Relations Division (ERD) Secretary Monowar Ahmed and WB Country Director for Bangladesh, Bhutan and Nepal Qimiao Fan signed the agreement on behalf of their respective sides at a city hotel.

Finance Minister A H M Mustafa Kamal was present as the chief guest in the programme, where senior officials of Finance Division, ERD and WB were also present.

The WB country director in his speech said creation of jobs still remains one of the major challenges for Bangladesh.

"Despite having certain successes in poverty reduction, social sectors and some other macro-economic areas, Bangladesh is still facing challenges in creation of jobs, especially quality jobs and jobs for women."

"Creation of jobs is a cornerstone for development. Bangladesh needs to create more and better jobs, particularly in the manufacturing sector, to achieve its growth aspirations," he added.

Acknowledging the challenges regarding job creation, the finance minister expressed hope that Bangladesh would make certain progress in job creation.

The $250-million WB financing will be available as the first tranche of a proposed $750-million budgetary support under the Development Policy Credit (DPC).

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