KATHMANDU, April 26: The Central Bureau of Statistics (CBS) has projected the national economy to grow by 6.94 percent for the current fiscal year 2016/17, up from the 6 percent target set by the government.
If the projection by the CBS is correct, the GDP (gross domestic product) will grow in the current fiscal year by a rate not seen since fiscal year 1993/94, when the economy grew by 8.2 percent. This is the highest growth rate predicted for the current fiscal year so far.
Organizing a press briefing in the capital on Tuesday, the CBS said that the GDP growth last fiscal year was 0.01 percent, down from an earlier projection of 0.77 percent.
The CBS has said that it is optimistic over the macroeconomic indicators in the current fiscal year.
“The economy has moved toward a positive direction in the current fiscal year thanks to the rise in agro production due to favorable weather, the pace that reconstruction has taken on and the ridding of the energy crisis, ” reads the CBS statement.
While the World Bank projected a growth of 5 percent, the ADB an estimated 5.2 to 6.2 percent and the International Monetary Fund 5.5 percent recently, the central agency for collection, analysis and dissemination of statistics under the National Planning Commission Secretariat (NPCS) has estimated GDP growth by the highest rate since 1993/94.
“The growth has turned out so high mainly due to the low [starting] base of the GDP last fiscal year,” said Rudra Suwal, a deputy director-general at CBS. Had it not been for the base effect, officials said, growth would have averaged 3.7 percent in the current fiscal year.
According to the CBS, the primary sector, which includes industries like agro, mining and fisheries, is estimated to grow by 5.32 percent, while the secondary sector (including electricity, water and construction) is predicted to see a growth of 10.97 percent. The tertiary sector (wholesale and retail trade, financial intermediaries among others) is estimated to expand by 6.9 percent.
The CBS figures show that the share of agriculture in the total economy has gone down to 28.89 percent in 2016/17 from 30 percent last fiscal year.
While the final consumption expenditure as a percentage of GDP in the current fiscal year is estimated to go down to 89.75 percent from 96.18 percent in 2015/16, capital formation as GDP percentage is expected to go up to 33.8 percent from 28.8 percent last fiscal year. The CBS projects remittances as a percentage of GDP to fall to 26.94 percent in the current fiscal year from 29.59 percent last fiscal year.
The CBS says that the size of the economy at basic prices is projected to at Rs 2,294 billion in the current fiscal year from 1,987 billion in the last fiscal year.