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BRIEF April 2, 2024

Pakistan Development Update: Knowledge Products

The Pakistan Development Update (PDU) is the World Bank Pakistan flagship report that discusses the latest macroeconomic developments and policy issues that are critical to the country’s long-term economic development.

Below is a repository of the Pakistan Development Update biannual published reports.


April 2024

Fiscal Impact of the Federal State Owned Enterprises

The report highlights the high fiscal costs of federal state-owned enterprises (SOEs) and the critical reforms needed to improve their performance, efficiency, and governance, including via privatizations.

Pakistan Development Update October 2023 Report Cover

October 2023

Restoring Fiscal Sustainability

Pakistan’s economy slowed sharply in FY23 with real GDP estimated to have contracted by 0.6%. The decline in economic activity reflects the cumulation of domestic and external shocks including the floods of 2022, government restrictions on imports and capital flows, domestic political uncertainty, surging world commodity prices, and tighter global financing.

Report cover with text: Pakistan Development Update April 2023 Recent Economic Developments, Outlook and Risks

April 2023

Recent Economic Developments, Outlook, and Risks

Sustained reform commitment is needed to overcome Pakistan’s economic crisis. Pakistan’s economy is expected to grow by only 0.4 percent in the current fiscal year ending June 2023. The slower growth reflects subdued private sector activity amid deteriorating confidence, import controls, belated fiscal tightening, and the impacts of the unprecedented floods of summer 2022.


October 2022

Inflation and the Poor

Given the recent spikes in inflation, this report examines the impact of inflation on household welfare and reviews policy options to cushion the effects of rising prices on the poor. The analysis shows that the recent bout of inflation has had disproportionate adverse impacts on the poor. Apart from a sound macroeconomic policy mix, sectorial policies with sustainable fiscal costs that largely benefit poor households, like reducing import duties on sensitive food products, could help to reduce inflationary pressures, complemented with well-targeted temporary expansions of social protection programs.

Pakistan Development Update April 2022 Cover Image

April 2022

Financing The Real Economy

The special section of the report focuses on financial intermediation and how to increase financing to the real economy by addressing structural impediments impacting the demand and supply of finance, including in credit markets.

Export container ship

October 2021

Reviving Exports

Strengthening Exports is Critical for Pakistan’s Sustained Economic Growth: Pakistan’s economy recovered in Fiscal Year 2021, in part due to the government’s effective use of targeted lockdowns to manage the spread of COVID-19, while also permitting economic activity to largely continue, according to a new World Bank report.


April 2021

Navigating in Uncertain Times

The report begins with a chapter on recent economic developments, with sections on the real sector and economic growth, monetary and financial sector developments, the external sector, and fiscal policy and public debt. The second chapter provides the medium-term macroeconomic outlook, describes risks and challenges, and structural reform needs. This is followed by the focus topic section on the impact of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis on the private sector.

Illustration of economic chart with fair weather and bad weather on either side

June 2019

Weathering the Storm - Restoring Macroeconomic Stability

This report highlights the importance of tackling the structural challenges which are hampering growth and investments. The report emphasizes that the failure to address these structural challenges, in parallel to addressing the macroeconomic imbalances, just means that the next crisis is another 4 to 5 years away.

October 2018

At A Crossroad

The report begins with a chapter on economic developments, with sections on growth, fiscal policy, public debt, the external sector, monetary developments and inflation, and the financial sector. The second chapter provides a medium-term macroeconomic outlook and describes risks faced and upcoming challenges, including structural reform needs. The third chapter concludes by stressing the importance of creating a skilled labor force that is more productive and better able to adopt and adapt to new technologies—the core of Pakistan’s growth path.

November 2017

Managing Risks for Sustained Growth

The report begins with a chapter on economic developments, with sections on growth, fiscal policy, public debt, the external sector, and inflation and monetary developments. The second chapter provides a medium-term macroeconomic outlook and describes upcoming challenges, and structural reform needs. The third chapter focuses on progress against social indicators. The final chapter addresses entrepreneurship in Pakistan from the perspectives of jobs, enabling new startup businesses, women's entrepreneurship and export competitiveness.

May 2017

Growth - A Shared Responsibility

Pakistan's economy continues to grow strongly, emerging as one of the top performers in South Asia. Beneath the surface, however, a number of warning signs are emerging. Revenue growth is slowing, with the fiscal deficit growing for the first time in three years. Exports continue to fall as imports grow, substantially increasing the current account deficit. Investment rates - already low - fell further in FY16 (the latest data available). Finally, the energy sector circular debt has resurfaced...

November 2016

Making Growth Matter

Pakistan’s growth accelerated in FY16, driven by consumption while investment remained low. Exports continued to fall when soft global demand exacerbated the effects of Pakistan’s long-term decline in competitiveness. After achieving macroeconomic stability, the government continued to deliver on its structural reform agenda in FY16, but much remains to be done if growth is to bestrengthened and sustained...

April 2016

From Stability to Prosperity

Pakistan, while not growing as quickly as its neighbors, has continued its steady growth recovery in H1FY16. Strong growth in consumption, rising foreign exchange reserves, fast-growing workers' remittances and a lower import bill compensated for a significant fall in exports. Low oil prices generated a significant boost, driving a 9.1 percent fall in the import bill and reducing inflation significantly, in turn creating scope to reduce the policy rate. Private sector consumption, propelled by higher remittances and a loosened monetary policy, is expected to account for over half of FY16 GDP growth.

October 2015

Pakistan Development Update

Fiscal consolidation will require strong tax revenue efforts by the government as well as gradual phasing-out of energy-related subsidies and of reduced support to loss-making SOEs. Efforts to tighten fiscal policy will also need closer coordination with the provinces, and ensuring that progress in the country’s decentralization effort better aligns the province’s responsibilities with the increased resource envelop that resulted from the 7th NFC award. Efforts to prevent major shocks to the government’s fiscal stance should also include reducing the fiscal risks of the frequent natural disasters affecting Pakistan, an issue discussed in detail in special section five...

April 2015

Pakistan Development Update

The Pakistani economy faced four major domestic shocks as of April 2015: (i) a political sit-in by opposition parties in Islamabad that lasted between August and December and raised significant political uncertainty; (ii) the September floods in Punjab that affected agricultural crops; (iii) the postponed sale of Oil and Gas Development Company Limited (OGDCL) equity shares in November that reduced its expected privatization proceeds and foreign direct inflows (FDI); and (iv) the terrorist attack in a school in Peshawar that heightened security concerns. However, supported by a favorable slump in international oil prices, and steady implementation of structural reforms by the government, the economy is improving...

October 2014

Pakistan Development Update

For 2013 progress in Pakistan was significant and supported by a solid economic reform program of the Government of Pakistan...

April 2014

Pakistan Development Update

Pakistan's economy is weak but at a turning point. Growth recovery is underway, with the projected GDP growth approaching 3.6-4.0 percent, driven by dynamic manufacturing and service sectors, better energy availability, and early revival of investor confidence. Inflation is steady at 7.9 percent (y-o-y)...