Issue 26

Budget Study Centre   Issue 26
Oct 25, 2018


Fortnightly Budget News Alerts

Foreign exchange: SBP’s reserves fall $264m, stand at $7.8b

The Express Tribune (Oct 25, 2018)

KARACHI: The foreign exchange reserves held by the central bank continued to spiral downwards for the ninth successive week as they fell 3.26% on a weekly basis, according to data released on Thursday. The continued drop in the reserves raises concern about Pakistan’s ability to meet its financing requirements as the reserves have dropped below the $8-billion mark. However, the government announced on Tuesday that it had managed to secure…. Read More

Pakistan improves WEF rankings by nine points

The Express Tribune (Oct 24, 2018)

ISLAMABAD: World Economic Forum (WEF) has appreciated efforts of National Accountability Bureau (NAB) for eradication of corruption and ranked Pakistan at 107 among 140 countries on Global Competitiveness Index (GCI). The WEF, in its Global Competitiveness report-2018, has redefined the competitiveness index 4.0. The new index provides guidelines for countries to gear up for the fourth industrial revolution. The report indicates….Read More

Pakistan to go for IMF bailout, despite $6 billion Saudi Arabia support package: Report

The Pakistan Today (Oct 24, 2018)

LAHORE: Despite getting a $6 billion bailout package from Saudi Arabia, Pakistan will still be seeking an International Monetary Fund (IMF) bailout. According to a Bloomberg report, the Finance Ministry spokesman Noor Ahmed on Wednesday said, “Islamabad will now negotiate with the IMF from an improved position.” He added, “We’ll have to go to IMF. The Saudi Arabian package “is something you strengthened your position for talks.” Mr….Read More

Pakistan obtained $930 million loans during first quarter FY19

The Pakistan Today (Oct 23, 2018)

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan obtained $216 million in loans from international lenders in September 2018 of the financial year 2018-19. According to available data, Pakistan in the first quarter (July-September) of the current fiscal year borrowed $930 million from different countries as well as banks. The country’s foreign exchange reserves have dwindled sharply as they touched a critically low level of $8,089 million till 12 October….Read More

Imran Khan leaves for Saudi conference saying Pakistan “Desperate” for loans

The Economic Times (Oct 23, 2018)

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan left for Saudi Arabia to attend an investment conference boycotted by other leaders over the death of journalist Jamal Khashoggi at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, Turkey. Khan told an interviewer before leaving he was concerned at Khashoggi’s death but could not skip the conference because “we’re desperate” for possible Saudi loans to shore up Pakistan’s economy.  It is Khan’s second visit to Saudi ….Read More

Unpopular decisions needed to put economy on right patch

The Express Tribune (Oct 22, 2018)

LAHORE: The government is trying to set a new direction for the national economy by addressing the most serious macroeconomic challenge – the dwindling foreign exchange reserves. The finance ministry has unveiled a series of measures to deal with the widening budget deficit. These measures include more than $2 billion in planned development spending, doubling the tax rate on the highest-income group to 30% and hiking tariffs on ….Read More

Next IMF programme to be Pakistan’s last, Asad Umar Tells stockbrokers

The Dawn (Oct 20, 2018)

Finance Minister Asad Umar on Saturday claimed that Pakistan’s economy is already on the road to recovery and that the next IMF programme that the government is pursuing will be its last. Umar made those remarks during a question and answer session following his meeting with a delegation of stockbrokers at the Pakistan Stock Exchange in Karachi. Following a tumultuous couple of weeks for the bourse, the finance minister had met the traders today to allay….Read More

Pakistan’s textile exports inch up by 0.86 percent in 1st quarter FY19

The Pakistan Today (Oct 20, 2018)

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s exports in textile and clothing group recorded an increase of 0.86 percent during the first quarter of the current fiscal year (July-September) 2018-19 as compared to the same period of last year. The textile group’s exports from the country increased to 3.285 billion during July-September (2018-19) against export’s worth of $3.257 billion during July-September (2017-18), according to data issued by Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS) on Friday….Read More

Trump turns attention to budget cutting after slashing taxes

The Straits Times (Oct 18, 2018)

WASHINGTON (REUTERS) – US President Donald Trump, faced with a budget deficit at a six-year high, on Wednesday (Oct 17) told his Cabinet to come up with proposals to cut spending by their agencies by 5 per cent, but he suggested the military would be largely spared. “I’d like you all to come back with a 5 percent cut,” Trump told his Cabinet secretaries at a meeting attended by reporters. The administration is beginning to pull together plans for the president’s… Read More

Annual US budget deficit hits six-year high of $779b

The Daily Star (Oct 17, 2018)

Washington (AFP) The US budget deficit hit a six-year high of $779 billion in the most recent fiscal year, the Treasury announced Monday, underscoring the cost of last year’s sweeping tax cuts. President Donald Trump hails the tax cuts as a boon to the economy, but corporate tax receipts dropped sharply and America’s growing debt burden to finance the deficit became increasingly costly, the Treasury Department said. In the 2018 fiscal year, which ended …Read More

Egypt’s economy to grow 5.3pc in fiscal 2018-19

The Business Recorder (Oct 17, 2018)

CAIRO: Egypt’s economy will expand 5.3 percent in the fiscal year that began in July, a Reuters poll of 15 economists showed, as tourism recovers and the outlook for investment improves. That median forecast was up slightly from 5.2 percent predicted in the previous poll in July but below a government target of 5.8 percent. The economists’ median growth forecast for the year starting next July was 5.5 percent. “The economy will continue.…Read More

Pakistan to share CPEC debt details with IMF

The Economic Times (Oct 16, 2018)

NEW DELHI: Cash-strapped Pakistan in a desperate move has announced that it is ready to share details of its debt related to the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) with the IMF following tough talk by the Trump administration on bailout package. Pakistan is ready to share details of the debt related to CPEC with the IMF, Finance Minister Asad Umar said on Sunday following the US decision to review loans that Islamabad has got from China. The.…Read More

Chancellor plans budget spending pledges to reassure MPs

The Guardian (Oct 16, 2018)

Philip Hammond is planning to pepper his budget with a series of spending announcements to reassure Tory backbenchers who are anxious about the impact of universal credit and delivering on the prime minister’s pledge to end austerity. The chancellor is understood to share fears that Theresa May’s promise at the Tory party conference to step up public spending had been interpreted too literally, putting pressure on the Treasury to.…Read More

Ending austerity in UK ‘incompatible’ with budget plan

ABC News (Oct 15, 2018)

The U.S. federal budget deficit rose in fiscal 2018 to the highest level in six years as spending climbed, the Trump administration said Monday. The deficit jumped to $779 billion, $113 billion or 17 percent higher than the previous fiscal period, according to a statement from Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney. It was larger than any year since 2012, when it topped $1 trillion. The …Read More

US budget deficit expands to $779 billion in fiscal 2018 as spending surges

CNBA (Oct 15, 2018)

The U.S. federal budget deficit rose in fiscal 2018 to the highest level in six years as spending climbed, the Trump administration said Monday. The deficit jumped to $779 billion, $113 billion or 17 percent higher than the previous fiscal period, according to a statement from Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney. It was larger than any year since 2012, when it topped $1 trillion. The.…Read More

K-P to present Rs645b ‘boring’ budget today

Express Tribune (Oct 15, 2018)

PESHAWAR: The provincial government is all poised to present its first budget for the financial year 2018-19 on Monday, with a total outlay of over Rs645 billion. With a promise of including new schemes with no new taxes, around 28 per cent of the budget will be reserved for developmental projects — old and new. Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P) Finance Minister Taimur Saleem Jhagra is expected to present the budget in the provincial assembly at .…Read More

Investors bet against Italian debt as budget fears intensify

Financial Times (Oct 14, 2018)

London: Investors’ negative bets on Italian government debt are at their highest level since the early days of the market’s five-month-long sell-off, in an indication that Italy’s budget proposals have fuelled concern about its economic outlook. More than $35bn of Italian government bonds are out on loan according to data provider IHS Markit, up from $23bn late last year and equalling the value of bonds that were out on loan in early June when Italy’s new populist government was formed .…Read More