Friday, September 25, 2020

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Tag: COVID-19

Where Are We Headed?

There are hopes that the Current Account deficit will be managed and that inflation will remain within limits. The problem areas are the falling tax collection and the COVID related steep expenditures and this could negatively impact the budget deficit. The hope is that the agriculture and services sectors will improve and foreign remittances will continue to increase or at least stay on par. Exports remain in decline even though import restrictions have helped but this is not the answer. CPEC related activity is expected to pick up and the real estate and construction sectors are already on the upsurge because of a timely policy step by the government.

Prime Minister Trudeau’s Message

The Prime Minister faced the camera without a row of flunkies beside him or behind him. He was alone. He did not have media persons asking him planted questions. He spoke simply and sincerely and effectively reached out to his targeted audience. He never strayed from the topic to drag in politics or ongoing events or his own or his governments achievements.

The Thin Red Line

The problem now is that the health sector needs massive resources to cope with the virus and ramp up its capacity for the future and the unemployed and poor need sustained support. The government is mustering resources but the Prime Minister is right when he says that there has to be a ‘nuanced lockdown’ to permit a bare minimum level of economic activity so that some people start working for their living to reduce the enormous burden on the state

Coping with the Virus

Though it took time to gel into specifics, the response has been comprehensive and robust. The various measures are being constantly reviewed and fine-tuned based on solicited feedback and close monitoring of the situation. There is criticism—too little too late, skepticism over implementation capacity

COVID 19 – Panic Mode

The fact is that the Pakistan Stock Exchange (PSX) continues to witness nothing short of a bloodbath as the KSE-100 continues to decline and the Market is being halted on a daily basis as the triggers are being tripped. Close to Rs.400 Billion has been wiped off in value - the biggest decline in 10 years. The Rupee continues to fall against the USD and has lost close to Rs.4.00 and fallen to Rs.159 in the interbank market. Gold continues to rise. The Growth rate has been revised by Moody’s to around 2.5 per cent, which is also starting to appear optimistic. Utter mayhem. Yet, this is not an isolated event for Pakistan, but something that is being witnessed on a global scale. Other economies have been more proactive and put in place measures to try and reduce the fallout from the current situation