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Pakistan has the highest cost of living in Asia

April 23, 2024 10:47 am

Pakistan has the highest cost of living in Asia

Pakistan currently has the highest cost of living in Asia. The country currently has an inflation rate of 25 percent. A recent report published by the Asian Development Bank (ADB) has highlighted such information.

According to this report titled ‘Asian Development Outlook’ or ‘Development Forecast in Asia’, Pakistan has the highest inflation among 46 Asian countries. The country ranks fourth from the bottom in Asia in terms of achieving economic growth.

Last Thursday (April 11), the report published by the ADB headquarters in Manila, the capital of the Philippines, said that inflation in Pakistan will be 25 percent in the current fiscal year, which is the highest in Asia. This will make Pakistan the most expensive country in Asia. Inflation in the country will decrease in the next financial year. But ADB thinks it will be 15 percent.

According to ADB’s forecast, Bangladesh will rank second behind Pakistan in terms of inflation in South Asia. Inflation in Bangladesh will be 8.4 percent this year. In other countries of the region, inflation this year will be 7.5 percent in Sri Lanka, 6.5 percent in Nepal, 4.6 percent in India, 4.5 percent in Bhutan and 3.2 percent in Maldives. Incidentally, the Government of Pakistan and the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) have set an inflation target of 21 percent for the current fiscal year.

Pakistan also lags behind in terms of gross domestic product (GDP) growth and will continue to do so in the future. ADB says the country’s economy will grow by 1.9 percent this fiscal year, the fourth lowest in Asia. In this respect, only Myanmar, Azerbaijan and Nauru are behind Pakistan. And in the next fiscal year 2024-25, Pakistan’s GDP growth will increase by 2.8 percent. That would be the fifth lowest rate in Asia.

Regionally, Pakistan ranks at the bottom among the seven South Asian countries in terms of GDP growth in the current fiscal year 2024. Only Sri Lanka (1.9 percent) is with them. According to ADB’s forecast, India will have the highest growth of 7 percent, Bangladesh the second highest at 6.1 percent, Maldives at 5.4 percent, Bhutan at 4.4 percent and Nepal at 3.6 percent.

Regarding Pakistan’s economic situation, ADB said, the country has been experiencing stagflation (low growth, high inflation and high unemployment) for a long time. The World Bank also said last week that any adverse impact could push another 10 million or 10 million people into poverty again. About 98 million or 98 million people are already living in poverty in the country.

In its latest report, ADB said Pakistan needs adequate financing. But the country faces challenges in getting new loans from outside and repaying existing debts.

Meanwhile, Pakistan’s Finance Minister Muhammad Aurangzeb is scheduled to go to Washington next week to meet International Monetary Fund (IMF) Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva. He will then request the IMF chief to approve a new financial recovery package for Pakistan.

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