ISLAMABAD, April 26 (Xinhua) -- The Pakistani government said in a latest survey that the country's gross domestic product (GDP) grew 5.79 percent in the first three quarters of the current Fiscal Year of 2018, hitting a 13-year highest growth rate.
The survey, released by the Finance Ministry here on Thursday, said that the country's agriculture sector grew by 3.81 percent, industrial sector augmented by 5.80 percent and services sector improved at 6.43 percent during the reporting period, adding that the three sectors contributed 0.73, 1.21 and 3.85 percentage points respectively to the economy.
Although with the highest growth rate in more than a decade, the increase was slower that the market's expectation of 6 percent in the fiscal 2018, which will end on June 30 this year, because of a weak growth in industrial sector.
The Pakistani government will unveil its Federal Budget for the fiscal 2019 on Friday. Pakistan's fiscal year starts from July 1 and culminate on June 30 in next year.
Specifically, the agriculture sector, which took 18.8 percent weight in GDP, posted a growth of 3.8 percent, which is better than the last year's growth of 2.1 percent and higher than government target of 3.5 percent.
Services sector, which weigh about 60.2 percent in Pakistan's total GDP, continued to post strong growth of 6.4 percent in line with the target and last year's growth rate. Growth in services sector was mainly driven by improved General Government Services and wholesale and retail.
Industrial sector's, about 20.9 percent weight in GDP, stood at 5.8 percent, lower than the targeted 6.4 percent but is higher than last year's growth rate of 5.4 percent. Large scale manufacturing, the biggest component of the industrial sector, slightly below the government target of 6.3 percent.
Miftah Ismail, advisor to Prime Minister on finance, told a press conference that the better energy supply, higher crop production, reduction in terrorism, expansionary fiscal and monetary policies and foreign investments under the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) remained the major contributors in the growth stimulus.
He informed that the country's per capita income increased to 1,641 U.S. dollars during the fiscal year of 2018, largely due to the expansion in economic output, which also fueled the consumer demand in the country.
Talking about the rising current account deficit, Ismail said that the country's current account deficit during the first nine months of the fiscal year was calculated at 12.03 billion U.S. dollars, which is expected to surpass 15 billion U.S. dollars at the end of the ongoing fiscal year.
On the occasion, Minister for Planning and Development Ahsan Iqbal stated that Pakistan's average consumer price index-based inflation was clocked at 3.78 percent on a yearly comparison during the first nine months of the fiscal year, when compared with 4.01 percent reported during the same period in the previous year.
He further stated that the country's GDP size expanded to 34.4 trillion rupees (about 316 billion U.S. dollars) during the first nine months of the fiscal year of 2018 from the last fiscal year's figure of 32.00 trillion rupees (some 305 billion U.S. dollars) and 22.4 trillion Pakistani rupees (some 231 billion U.S. dollars) in the fiscal year of 2013 when the current government took office. Enditem