Friday July 19, 2024

Nawaz Sharif's tenure 'best' for Pakistan's economy: analysis

Bloomberg's Ankur Shukla says "road ahead won’t be easy for any party that wins the election"

By Web Desk
January 23, 2024
Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) supremo Nawaz Sharif. — X/@pmln_org
Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) supremo Nawaz Sharif. — X/@pmln_org

A recent analysis has revealed that Pakistan's economy had the best performance in the past three decades under Nawaz Sharif's premiership as compared to his opponents. 

According to Bloomberg Economics, Sharif's PML-N scored better than Imran Khan's Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) and Bilawal Bhutto Zardari's Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP).

The analysis was done by using a misery index which informally measures an economy's state by adding its inflation and unemployment rate.

"Bloomberg Economics used an average of the index values over the respective years when each of the major political parties ruled the country since 1990. A higher value indicates more economic hardship for citizens," said the publication.

According to Bloomberg, Nawaz looks ready to take power after the general elections slated for February 8 for the fourth time, with Khan being incarcerated and stuck in a quagmire of legal cases.

However, despite being in jail, Khan is still the most popular politician in Pakistan with an approval rating of 57%, as per a Gallup opinion poll. Meanwhile, Nawaz's popularity increased from 36% to 52% in the past six months.

“The public may be giving Sharif the benefit of the doubt,” Ankur Shukla of Bloomberg Economics wrote in the report, adding that the "road ahead won’t be easy for any party that wins the election", considering the high inflation and unemployment rate.

The inflation rate in Pakistan is close to 30% while the rupee performed as the worst in Asia last year with declining foreign exchange reserves.

Furthermore, the country is seeking a financial bailout from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the upcoming government will have to implement policies — withdrawing subsidies and raising taxes — that will be unpopular with voters.

The global lender also expects the economy to grow by 2% in the fiscal year.