Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Economic growth plunges to 13-year low at 0.77 per cent

The economic growth for the current fiscal year has squeezed to almost zero, according to the Central Bureau of Statistics (CBS).
Releasing the gross domestic product (GDP) estimate for the current fiscal year today, the CBS said that the economy will grow by a mere 0.77 per cent – which is a 13-year low – in the current fiscal year. In the fiscal year 2001-02, the country – under the King Gyanendra's rule – had recorded economic growth of 0.16 per cent. Likewise, the CBS has also revised last fiscal year's economic growth downward to 2.32 per cent from earlier estimation of 3.04 per cent.
The subpar monsoon that resulted in weak agricultural output, almost five months of economic blockade, and stalled reconstruction work in the aftermath of the last year's devastating earthquakes have pulled the economic growth down to a 13-year low, according to CBS director general Suman Raj Aryal.
The economy did not plunge into negative zone also due to better performance by the service sector including health and education sectors, he added.
The largest contributor to the economy, agriculture, is estimated to grow by only 1.14 percent, though its contribution to the economy is 31.19 per cent, whereas the lowest contributor – fisheries' sector – has just 0.5 per cent share in the economy.
The report also revealed that the total size of the economy is going to grow to Rs 2.25 trillion in the current fiscal year, from Rs 2.12 trillion in the last fiscal year.
Likewise, the largest contributors to the economy are agriculture (31.19 per cent); followed by wholesale and retail trade (14.23 per cent); real estate (9.16 per cent); transportation, communication and storage (8.42 per cent); construction (6.88 per cent); education (6.76 percent); and production (5.53 per cent) sectors, according to the CBS.
However, of the 15 sectors that are used to calculate the GDP growth, some six sectors are going to record negative growth in the current fiscal year.
Various national and international institutions have projected the Nepali economy to grow between -0.9 per cent and 2.2 per cent, whereas the government has in its white paper projected the growth at around 2 per cent, during the current fiscal year. The central bank had projected a negative growth for the economy whereas UNESCAP yesterday projected that the economy will grow by 2.2 per cent.
According to Aryal, various institutions are involved in making projetctions about GDP growth, but the CBS' projection is the authentic and most dependable one. "The CBS has projected the economic growth on the basis of nine months' data of the current fiscal year," he said, adding that the remaining 3 months could see some increment in economic activities, which could lead to improved economic growth.

Has gross national income increased?
Despite low economic growth, the CBS has projected an increment in per capita gross national income (GNI) to Rs 80,921 in the current fiscal year from last year's Rs 77,079. The increment of Rs 3,842 is 4.98 per cent compared to the last fiscal year, the CBS said. However, the increment in GNI per capita covers only half the inflation rate for the year, which is around 10 per cent, according to the central bank.

Savings lowest in last 22 years
Likewise, gross domestic savings as percentage of gross domestic product (GDP) is the lowest in the last 22 years, according to the CBS. The gross domestic savings as percentage of gross domestic product (GDP) is likely to stand at 5.26 per cent in the current fiscal year, as the country has failed to enhance its productive capacity. The figure is the lowest since fiscal year 1994-95.

Sectoral growth (compared to last fiscal year)
1. Agriculture and Forestry – 1.14 per cent
2. Fisheries – 11.76 per cent
3. Mining and quarrying – 6.54 per cent (negative growth)
4. Manufacturing – 9.86 per cent (negative growth)
5. Electricity, gas and water – 1.66 per cent (negative growth)
6. Construction – 3.98 per cent (negative growth)
7. Wholesale and retail trade – 1.13 per cent (negative growth)
8. Hotels and restaurants – 4.85 per cent (negative growth)
9. Transport, storage and communications – 2.55 per cent
10. Financial intermedeation – 3.30 per cent
11. Real estate, renting and business activities – 3.72 per cent
12. Public administration and defence – 5.78 per cent
13. Education – 6.69 per cent
14. Health and social work – 8.85 per cent
15. Other community, social and personal service activities – 5.60 per cent

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