PM Imran Khan hails ‘remarkable turnaround’ in economy despite COVID-19

By Abdullah Zahid.

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan on Tuesday took to Twitter to express his pleasure at the positive trajectory of the nation’s economy this year despite the novel coronavirus pandemic.

“Despite Covid-19 great news on economy — remarkable turnaround,” Khan said in a tweet, adding that the current account surplus in November was $447 million.

For the fiscal year so far, the PM said, the surplus was $1.6 billion as opposed to a deficit of $1.7 billion in the same period last year. The central bank’s forex reserves had risen to about $13 billion, the highest in three years, he added.

This is the fifth consecutive month the country has seen a current account surplus.

The current account is in surplus for the first time in five years as a result of improved trade balance and an increase in remittances, the State Bank of Pakistan revealed in a tweet.

“In Nov20, the current account surplus rose further to $447 mn against a deficit of $326 mn in Nov19. So far in FY21, the surplus has reached $1.6 bn compared to a deficit of $1.7 bn over the same period last year,” the tweet read.

“In contrast to previous 5years, the current account has been in surplus throughout FY21 due to an improved trade balance and a sustained increase in remittances. In Nov20, both exports and imports picked up, reflecting a recovery in external demand and domestic economic activity.”

“This turnaround in the current account, together with improvement in financial inflows, raised SBP’s foreign exchange reserves by around $1 bn in Nov20. At $13.1 billion, they are now at their highest level in 3 years.”

According to Ministry of Finance’s monthly updates and outlook document, the current account remained in surplus of $382 million in October. The surplus for July-October FY20-21 stood at $1.2 billion (1.3% of the gross domestic product) against a deficit of $1.4 billion in the same period last fiscal year.

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