Bangladesh GDP may grow 5.5-6 pc in current fiscal: ADB

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The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has forecast a 5.5- 6 percent GDP growth for Bangladesh in today's fiscal.

However, the Manila-based lender added a rider, saying the spike in coronavirus infection and delays in supply of vaccines, both globally and domestically, could undermine the monetary growth outlook.

Alternatively, the country’s GDP growth can further strengthen to 7.2 percent in fiscal 2022 under sustained global recovery and effective Covid-19 management,.

Presenting the latest ADB report Asian Development Outlook (ADO) 2021, they agency’s senior economist Soon Chan Hong said it could provide USD 940 million loan to Bangladesh to procure Covid-19 vaccine that’s under process.

“ADB has recently supported USD 500 million to invest in immediate expenditures and programmes for expansion of social safety nets and support to industries to protect jobs.

“Besides, for monetary restoration and job preservation/creation, we provides USD 50 million loan to greatly help restore economical activities of the microenterprises and USD150 million loan to aid self-employment and employment generation of unemployed youth, micro entrepreneurs, and returnee migrants (under process),” Hong said.

ADB’s Country Director Manmohan Parkash said in comparison to many developed countries in North America and Europe, and other developing countries in Asia and the Pacific, the acuteness of the pandemic was less extreme in Bangladesh through the first wave in 2020.

“Bangladesh coped reasonably well against the pandemic and the economy showed early signs of recovery. Through FY2020 GDP growth plummeted to around 5.2 percent from 8.2 percent in the last year.

“It found in subsequent months supported by stimulus package implementation and recovery in global growth and world trade,” Parkash said in a statement.

Record remittance inflow kept domestic demand buoyant and underpinned solid growth in private consumption.

Unemployment, which had risen to 22.4 percent in April-July 2020, dropped sharply to 3.8 percent in September with stimulus package implementation and broad resumption of monetary activity, ADB said.

On the supply side, growth in the agriculture, industry, and service sector found. Medium-sized and large manufacturers

reversed production volume contraction by 16.4 percent in fourth quarter 2020-2021.

The potential slowdown in vaccination due to supply-related issues may further exacerbate the already adverse situation.

Moreover, the impact of the second wave in export-destination countries may possibly also undermine economic recovery.

Revenue collection can also be higher than this past year. Inflation is likely to be manageable in the number of 5.5 to 6 percent.

Parkash said attaining the targets of development and other spending could possibly be challenging as earnings collection in the first eight months of FY2021 grew by only 5.2 percent compared to 9.1 percent growth in the same period a year earlier.

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