Boston, MA -- (ReleaseWire) -- 03/13/2014 -- Slight Pick-up In Port Activity Levels Expected
The Pakistani economy achieved a strong 5.0% GDP growth rate in July-September 2013, the first quarter of the 2013/14 financial year (which runs from July to June). We expect growth to ease back in subsequent quarters as the fiscal tightening recommended by the IMF and needed to correct imbalanced public sector accounts goes ahead. We are now forecasting 3.4% GDP growth in 2013/14, rising to 4.0% in 2014/15.
Despite the unavoidable need for a fiscal correction, we remain quite optimistic about Pakistan's economic outlook. While the agricultural sector has lagged, there has solid growth in manufacturing output, despite a rather unexciting performance on the export front. We think the explanation lies in a surge of remittance revenues sent back home from expatriate Pakistanis, which has boosted domestic demand. While the economy continues to have weak points (like poor investment levels) we believe the fiscal correction will reduce the public sector 'crowding out effect' and allow credit to flow more freely to private sector borrowers.
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Given our GDP growth forecast for 2013/14, which was lower than the preceding year, we trimmed back the levels of activity we expect in Pakistan's main ports. We are holding to that lower projection. That said, however, it needs to be noted that cargo handling will still be a little busier than in the preceding year, boosted by growing foreign trade.
Headline Industry Data
- 2013/14-tonnage throughput at the Port of Karachi is forecast by BMI to grow by 2.4% to 39.444mn tonnes.
- 2013/14 container throughput growth at the Port of Karachi forecast to increase by 2.4% to 1.566mn twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs).
- 2013/14 tonnage throughput at the Port of Muhammad Bin Qasim forecast to grow by 2.4% to 25.456mn tonnes.
- 2013/14 container throughput at the Port of Muhammad Bin Qasim forecast to grow by 1.3% to 731,386TEUs.
- Pakistan's total trade forecast to see real growth rebounding strongly to reach 9.3% in 2013/14, up from an estimated 4.9% in the preceding year.
Key Industry Trends
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