PML-N to win elections, predicts The Economist

Publication’s intelligence unit forecasts Punjab will carry ruling party back into power


Vaqas May 30, 2018
Meanwhile, on the economic front, “A widening current account deficit and persistent budget shortfalls pose the biggest risks to macroeconomic stability in 2018-22,” which would be the term of the next government. PHOTO: EXPRESS/FILE

KARACHI: The Economist Intelligence Unit recently put out its new Country Report for Pakistan, and despite criticism of the state of the economy, the report does not predict fair tidings for opposition political parties come July.

The EIU predicts that risks to political stability will remain high in the run-up to the elections.

“We expect the PML-N (Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz) to be reelected on the back of a strong showing in Punjab, the most populous province,” the report says.

The authors do, however, urge caution, as “unfavourable court rulings, resurgent opposition parties and worsening relations with the judiciary and military have raised downside risks to this call.”

Shehbaz set to play his ‘political cards’ to pull PML-N out of crises

Meanwhile, on the economic front, “A widening current account deficit and persistent budget shortfalls pose the biggest risks to macroeconomic stability in 2018-22,” which would be the term of the next government.

The EIU also does not expect the ongoing political upheaval to sort itself out anytime soon. It “expects the outlook for political stability to remain poor in 2018-22,” citing disputes between the major players and parties that will intensify ahead of the election, and continue well after.

The report also predicts that the next prime minister of Pakistan will be Shehbaz Sharif, although “Nawaz Sharif will remain influential in the party”.

But no real change is expected on the drivers of foreign and security policies. “The military will continue to shape much of the country's foreign and security policies.”

Nor does the report suggest any post-election let-up in the civil-military-judicial divide. “We expect ties between the civilian government, the military, and the judiciary to stay strained, posing an underlying risk to political stability.”

Meanwhile, on the economic front, it says that despite some improvements, the “parlous domestic security situation will remain a key source of instability in 2018-22,” undermining economic “growth potential by posing ongoing operational and strategic challenges to infrastructure projects.”

These projects would include China-Pakistan Economic Corridor related works and numerous other projects.

‘Dar misled Nawaz Sharif on economic issues’

Real GDP, on an expenditure basis, will expand by an annual average rate of 5.4 per cent per year until 2022, according to the EIU report.

“Growth will be underpinned by increases in consumption and the improved performance of exports relative to imports,” it explains.

It also says that large deficits on the fiscal and current accounts will pose major risks to macroeconomic stability throughout the 2018-22 period. Meanwhile, the current account deficit is expected to average the equivalent of 3.1 per cent of GDP over the same period.

EIU is the research and analysis division of The Economist Group, the sister company to The Economist newspaper.

COMMENTS (4)

pakone | 3 years ago | Reply I worked for the EIU for 3 years. Trust me, their "news" sources are a bunch of unreliable, underpaid "contributors" who have no qualifications, sitting around the world doing nothing but waiting for a call from the Economist Intelligence Unit to explore the next sensational newsworthy item and send them some juice. Then they get paid a minimal amount. There are no sources named. No quotes from anyone in position. Just blind "journalism and intelligence." The original Economist was long gone after Andrew Rashbass took over a few years ago of the whole group. EIU is just a perfunctory subsidiary that most of the real staff at The Economist Group look down upon. Who wins the election is totally up in the air. I think it will be a surprise. No one can call it right now.
Saad Khan | 3 years ago | Reply Impossible.
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