The country's economy is estimated to grow 8.13 per cent in the current fiscal year (FY), buoyed by the strong performance of the industrial and service sectors, the government's provisional data show.
Finance Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal disclosed the GDP growth rate as estimated by the Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics (BBS) after a meeting of the National Economic Council (NEC) in the city on Tuesday.
The GDP growth target will be set at 8.5 per cent for FY 2019-20, the minister also said after a separate pre-budget meeting he held with economists at the same venue later in the day.
As per the estimation of three quarters of the current fiscal year (FY), 2018-19, the provisional Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth rate is 0.33 percentage points higher than the target of 7.8 per cent projected in the seventh five-year plan (SFYP) and 0.27 percentage points higher than the last FY's achievement.
The country's economic growth rate is higher than the rates of its neighbour India and the world's second largest economy China, which are expected to post a 7.3 per cent and 6.3 per cent growth respectively in the current fiscal.
Also, the per capita income has surged to $1,909 in the current FY from $1,751 in FY '18, registering an increase of $158, said the minister.
When asked, Mr Kamal said as the export, import and manufacturing sectors performed better in the current fiscal year, the country's GDP has seen a robust growth.
The GDP is expected to attain double-digit growth rate within the next three or four years, he added.
"The government will facilitate the private sector further to help expand the country's economy at a higher rate," said the finance minister.
The GDP growth at constant price has been maintaining a steep rise even after entering the '7.0 per cent growth club' three years ago in FY2016, BBS officials said.
In FY 2016, Bangladesh's economy expanded at 7.11 per cent rate, breaking the '6.0 per cent growth trap' after nine years. In the subsequent FY '17, it was recorded at 7.28 per cent and in the FY '18, the figure was 7.86 per cent.
According to the BBS provisional data, the country's total GDP size at current price boosted to Tk 25.36 trillion (US$302.42 billion) in the FY '19.
In the FY '18, the total GDP size of the country was Tk 22.50 trillion (US$274 billion).
The Gross National Income (GNI) has also expanded to Tk 26.549 trillion ($315.97 billion) in the FY '19 from Tk 23.53 trillion ($286.612 billion) in FY '18.
The GNI is calculated by adding the total remittance inflow to the total GDP of a particular country in a certain fiscal year.
According to the BBS's data of GDP at constant prices, the industrial sector grew at an impressive rate of 13.02 per cent in FY '19.
In the previous FY, the rate of industrial growth was recorded at 12.06 per cent.
The growth rate of the services sector has also estimated at 6.50 per cent in the current fiscal, up from 6.39 per cent in the last fiscal year, the BBS data show.
However, the agriculture sector posted a lower growth rate -- 3.51 per cent in the current fiscal year, down from 4.19 per cent in the last fiscal year.
Meanwhile, the investment-GDP ratio has been recorded at 31.56 per cent in the current FY '19, up from 31.23 per cent in the last FY '18, according to the official data.
World Bank Lead economist Dr Zahid Hussain told the FE that the export growth has played a vital role in expanding the economy of Bangladesh at an impressive rate.
Besides, the higher remittance growth has contributed to the economy, especially in the construction sector, and the higher public investments in the development work has also played a key role in the expansion of economy, he added.
However, he cautioned about the lower growth of the investment-GDP ratio, saying it could fade the inclusive growth across the country.
"Since the private sector investment is not increasing at the expected level, the employments are not being created as desired. So, many people are not getting the benefit of the economic expansion," he added.
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