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Economics Essay

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May, 2012

Bangladesh Economic Update

Poverty Reduction and Economic Management, South Asia Region

The World Bank

Bangladesh Economic Update

May 2012

GDP growth has moderated from 6.7 percent in FY11 to 6.3 percent in FY12 due to unfavorable external economics and internal supply constraints.1 Bangladesh has maintained the
average growth of the last three years through 9.8 percent manufacturing growth and 10.4 percent growth in remittances. However, private investment has declined from19.5 percent of GDP in FY11 to 19.1 percent in FY12 and the national savings rate from 26 percent of GDP to 25.2 percent. This does not bode well for near-term growth. Inflationary pressures, particularly from an increase in non-food prices, have worsened. Inflation continues to be volatile, touching double digits. Food price increases have declined from 13.8 percent in September 2011 to 8.1 percent in April 2012, good news for the poor. However, non-food price increases rose to an unprecedented 14 percent in March 2012 before declining slightly to 13.8 percent in April. Expansionary monetary and fiscal policies have driven the increases by expanding aggregate demand, which has also led to large nominal depreciation of the taka. High inflation disproportionately affects the poor and vulnerable non-poor households, but mitigating factors include a 3.1 percent increase in real wages and effective safety net programs designed to address vulnerability and marginalization. Various safety net programs, particularly Vulnerable Group Development, Food for Work and Open market sales of rice are helping to cushion the impact of high inflation on poor households. Monetary policy remained accommodative for most of 2011 but gradual tightening is occurring. With the high fiscal deficit and domestic borrowing by Government, monetary policy is now bearing the brunt of macroeconomic policy adjustment. The Bangladesh Bank’s monetary policy statement for the second half of...

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