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Pakistan Economy

    Economy—overview: Pakistan continues to suffer through a damaging foreign exchange crisis—stemming from years of loose fiscal policies that have exacerbated inflation and allowed public debt to explode. After accruing more than $1.5 billion in debt arrears in the first six months of FY98/99, Pakistani officials approached multilateral creditors requesting balance-of-payments relief and structural support. In January 1999, Islamabad received more than $1 billion in loans along with $3 billion in debt relief following the Finance Minister DAR's pledge to implement an economic reform program to reduce the budget deficit, deepen the financial sector, and broaden the industrial base. Although the economy has shown signs of improvement following implementation of some corrective measures, Prime Minister SHARIF—historically—has failed to implement the tough structural reforms necessary for sustained, longer-term growth. The government must also cope with long-standing economic vulnerabilities—inadequate infrastructure and low levels of literacy.

    GDP: purchasing power parity—$270 billion (1998 est.)

    GDP—real growth rate: 5% (1998 est.)

    GDP—per capita: purchasing power parity—$2,000 (1998 est.)

    GDP—composition by sector:
    agriculture: 24.2%
    industry: 26.4%
    services: 49.4% (1997)

    Population below poverty line: 34% (1991 est.)

    Household income or consumption by percentage share:
    lowest 10%: 3.4%
    highest 10%: 25.2% (1991)

    Inflation rate (consumer prices): 7.8% (FY97/98)

    Labor force: 37.8 million (1998)
    note: extensive export of labor, mostly to the Middle East, and use of child labor

    Labor force—by occupation: agriculture 47%, mining and manufacturing 17%, services 17%, other 19%

    Unemployment rate: NA%

    Budget:
    revenues: $10.8 billion
    expenditures: $12 billion, including capital expenditures of $NA (FY96/97)

    Industries: textiles, food processing, beverages, construction materials, clothing, paper products, shrimp

    Industrial production growth rate: 2% (FY97/98)

    Electricity—production: 59.336 billion kWh (1996)

    Electricity—production by source:
    fossil fuel: 57.3%
    hydro: 42.13%
    nuclear: 0.57%
    other: 0% (1997)

    Electricity—consumption: 59.336 billion kWh (1996)

    Electricity—exports: 0 kWh (1996)

    Electricity—imports: 0 kWh (1996)

    Agriculture—products: cotton, wheat, rice, sugarcane, fruits, vegetables; milk, beef, mutton, eggs

    Exports: $8.5 billion (FY97/98)

    Exports—commodities: cotton, textiles, clothing, rice, leather, carpets

    Exports—partners: EU, US, Hong Kong, Japan

    Imports: $10.1 billion (FY97/98)

    Imports—commodities: petroleum, petroleum products, machinery, transportation equipment, vegetable oils, animal fats, chemicals

    Imports—partners: EU, Japan, US, China

    Debt—external: $34 billion (1998 est.)

    Economic aid—recipient: $2 billion (FY97/98)

    Currency: 1 Pakistani rupee (PRe) = 100 paisa

    Exchange rates: Pakistani rupees (PRs) per US$1—46.000 (January 1999), 45.033 (1998), 41.086 (1997), 36.056 (1996), 31.623 (1995), 30.548 (1994); note—annual average of official rate; parallel market rate is higher

    Fiscal year: 1 July—30 June

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Revised 1-Mar-99
Copyright © 1999 Photius Coutsoukis (all rights reserved)