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Bangladesh economy ends 2019 in negative territory: Report

Investment has dried up with around Tk 2.5 trillion in default loans sinking the banking sector while the stock market was struggling to turn around from a propensity of diving.

IANS | Dhaka |

Bangladesh began 2019 with things looking up on the economic front coupled with political stability, but major concerns including a dip in export earnings, rise in inflation and also a drop in import, has pushed it in the negative territory towards the end of this year, a media report said.

The pace gathered in the past few years was suddenly lost as almost all indexes bar remittances have slipped into the negative territory, the bdnews24 report said on Saturday.

Export earnings have dipped, revenue collection decreased, inflation is on the rise, import has also dropped, putting the foreign currency reserves under pressure.

Investment has dried up with around Tk 2.5 trillion in default loans sinking the banking sector while the stock market was struggling to turn around from a propensity of diving.

Bangladesh’s GDP, however, saw a robust 8.15 per cent growth in the last financial year, leading the government to set a target of an 8.2 per cent growth for fiscal 2019-20.

But, the question as to whether that growth target could be met remains unanswered.

Researcher Ahsan H. Mansur said that would be “very difficult” to achieve the target in the remaining six months of the fiscal year after languishing for the first half in a “very bad” shape.

“Our economy is really in trouble. It’s very weak now after going from strength to strength in the past few years. The weakness is getting bigger with every passing days,” Mansur, who is also the Executive Director of Policy Research Institute, told bdnews24.

And the feeble condition of the banking sector made the entire economy “weaker”, he added.

The situation with revenue collection is the worst, according to him.

“The revenue collection growth target is 40 per cent while it grew only 4 per cent (until October). There will be negative impacts on development work and other sectors as well if there is any deficit in it (revenue collection).”