Issue 24

Budget Study Centre Issue 24
Sep 27, 2018


Fortnightly Budget News Alerts


WTO downgrades forecast for global economy and appeals for ‘restraint’ on trade war

The Telegraph by Anna Isaac (Sep 27, 2018)

The global umpire of trade has downgraded its economic forecast, claiming a rising tide of protectionism has dampened growth. A burgeoning trade war between the world’s two largest economies, China and the US, was cited as the chief reason for reducing 2018’s trade growth by 0.5 percentage points to 3.9pc. Trade is expected to slow further next year, to 3.7pc growth, according to the World Trade Organisation (WTO). …Read More


Argentina announces $57.1bn deal with IMF

The Telegraph by Wil Crisp (Sep 26, 2018)

Argentina has agreed a $57.1bn (£43.4bn) deal with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) designed to stabilise its economy. The new IMF agreement boosts the total funding available from the fund by $7.1bn and frontloads financing, increasing available resources by $19bn through the end of 2019. If the new plan is approved by the IMF’s Executive Board, the funding provided through the agreement would be used by Argentina for…Read More


US Federal Reserve raises interest rates amid strong growth

The Telegraph by Wil Crisp (Sep 26, 2018)

The US Federal Reserve has raised interest rates for the third time this year, taking the range of its Federal Funds Rate to between 2.00pc and 2.25pc, up by 0.25 percentage points. The latest move is the central bank’s eighth rate rise since 2015. In a statement the central bank said: "In view of realized and expected labor market conditions and inflation, the Committee decided to raise the target range for the federal funds rate". The Federal Reserve was widely .…Read More


France’s 2019 budget to ease tax burden on households, firms

The Times of Malta (Sep 24, 2018)

France will reduce the tax burden on households and companies by nearly €25 billion next year, the government said in its 2019 budget bill, pushing the deficit up towards an EU cap as the economy fails to gain pace. Households will see their tax bill reduced by a total €6 billion while business taxes will fall by €18.8 billion, resulting in the overall tax burden decreasing to 44.2 per cent of national income, the lowest for France since 2012. With his …Read More


Foreign exchange: SBP’s reserves dip 3.07%, amount to $9.33b

The Express Tribune (Sep 24, 2018)

KARACHI: The foreign exchange reserves held by the central bank continued to spiral downwards as they decreased 3.07% on a weekly basis, according to data released on Monday. The drop in reserves raises concern about Pakistan’s ability to meet its financing requirements as the reserves have fallen below the $9.5-billion mark. On September 14, the foreign currency reserves held by the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) were recorded at…Read More


Turkish firm to invest $330m in setting up plant in Pakistan

The Express Tribune (Sep 23, 2018)

FAISALABAD: A Turkey-based fast-moving consumer goods company (FMCG) – Hayat Kimya – has planned an investment of $330 million in Pakistan for setting up a manufacturing unit for hygiene products. Hayat Kimya is making the ninth largest investment in Pakistan and has started work at the Faisalabad Industrial Estate Development and Management Company (FIEDMC). It has acquired 100 acres of land to install a mega state-…Read More


Philip Hammond’s room for budget splurge trimmed as spending rises in August

The Telegraph by Tim Wallace (Sep 21, 2018)

Philip Hammond will be under more pressure in his Budget as Government borrowing jumped in August, with slower growth in tax receipts and higher spending worsening what had been a rosy picture. The deficit was £6.8bn last month, the Office for National Statistics said, up £2.4bn compared with August 2017. It ends the recent trend of falling borrowing, which has brought down the deficit for this financial year to £17.8bn, £7.8bn lower than the same period ..Read More


Remedial paths for the Brazilian economy

The Express Tribune (Sep 20, 2018)

In one sentence, the Brazilian economy seems to be suffering from lack of productivity yet an excessive public sector. On the one hand, the run-of-the-mill performance of productivity in Brazil in recent decades has limited its GDP growth potential. On the other, the excessive expansion of public spending has become progressively unsuited with such limits in the potential expansion of GDP, particularly since productivity has not been…Read More


In August 2018: Current account deficit contracts 72% due to drop in imports

The Express Tribune (Sep 20, 2018)

KARACHI: Pakistan’s current account deficit (CAD), a major source of concern for the past couple of years, surprisingly narrowed down 72% to $600 million in August 2018 compared to the previous month because of a notable drop in imports. The deficit – which is the outcome of higher expenditures in foreign currencies than the earnings – stood at $2.12 billion in the previous month of July, the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) reported on Wednesday. …Read More

China to penalize $60 billion of US imports in tit-for-tat move

The Express Tribune (Sep 19, 2018)

WASHINGTON/BEIJING: China and the United States plunged deeper into a trade war on Tuesday after Beijing added $60 billion of US products to its import tariff list in retaliation for President Donald Trump’s planned levies on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods. The tit-for-tat measures are the latest escalation in an increasingly protracted trade dispute between the world’s two largest economies. On Monday, the US administration …Read More

Pakistan eyes $8b investment from China, Saudi Arabia

The Express Tribune (Sep 18, 2018)

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan eyes nearly $8 billion investment from China and Saudi Arabia, under the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), in road, energy and oil sectors, after the new government decided to pick schemes on their ‘merits’. Decisions are being taken after the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government completed its internal review of the multibillion dollar strategic initiative and came to a decision to open the corridor for investment …Read More


Sindh cuts development budget by Rs24b

The Express Tribune (Sep 18, 2018)

KARACHI: The Sindh government has decided to cut the province’s development budget by Rs24 billion, citing financial constraints in view of the shortfall in federal transfers. The announcement came during the unveiling of the provincial budget for the remaining nine months of the fiscal year, 2018-19, at the Sindh Assembly on Monday. Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah, who also holds the portfolio of the finance ……Read More


Future of the economic, monetary union

The Times of Malta (Sep 18, 2018)

On September 14, the European Commission Representation in Valletta, in collaboration with the Central Bank of Malta, hosted the conference entitled: The Economic & Monetary Union: how has Malta benefitted and what does the future hold? Following the outbreak of the economic and financial crisis, the European Union took unprecedented measures to strengthen the Economic and Monetary Union (EMU) and make sure that Europe is better Read More


PTI govt unveil Rs5.3tr revised ‘status quo’ budget

The Express Tribune (Sep 18, 2018)

ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf’s (PTI) newly elected government has unveiled Rs5.3 trillion revised budget for this fiscal year but its ‘emergency’ measures lack the ideological shift that is needed to document the growing informal economy and spur economic growth to create jobs. Presenting the Finance Supplementary (Amendment) Bill 2018 on Tuesday in the National Assembly, Finance Minister Asad Umar claimed that the mini-budget will…Read More


New Govt to propose Mini Budget for FY 2018-19

Pro Pakistani (Sep 18, 2018)

Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) is set to present the revised budget for FY2018-19 on Tuesday, September 18 which is being drafted keeping in mind the macroeconomic realities and the unrealistic approach by the previous government in order to gain momentum for the elections. Earlier it was going to be presented on Friday, 14 September before the Parliament, however, the session has been postponed till next week due to the death of former First……Read More


UK economy will shrink without Brexit deal: IMF

The Express Tribune (Sep 17, 2018)

MOSCOW: Britain’s economy will shrink if the country leaves the European Union next year without a Brexit deal and any deal will leave the country financially worse off than staying in, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) said on Monday. The IMF said it expected Britain’s economy to grow by about 1.5% a year in 2018 and 2019 if a broad Brexit agreement was struck, compared with about 1.75% if it had stayed in……Read More


Tough mini-budget may affect PTI’s vote bank

The Express Tribune (Sep 17, 2018)

ISLAMABAD: Opposition parties may cash in on the tough measures likely to be introduced by the government in the upcoming mini-budget, political pundits insist. The government is scheduled to announce mini-budget tomorrow (Tuesday) which, according to these pundits, is not an opportune time in view of the upcoming by-elections on 37 general seats, including 11 in the National Assembly, 13 in Punjab Assembly, nine in Khyber-.…Read More


FDI drops 35% as investors wait for economic policy changes

The Express Tribune (Sep 15, 2018)

KARACHI: Foreign investors largely remained shy of driving up investments in Pakistan’s economy as they waited for clarity on economic policies to be announced shortly by the new government. Foreign direct investment (FDI) dropped 35% to $160.1 million in August compared to $246.8 million in the same month of previous year, the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) reported on Friday. “Foreigners are determined to invest in Pakistan at…. Read More