Bangladesh economy slows as growth falls to 6.07% in first quarter

This is the first time the national statistics agency has published quarterly GDP data

Published : 16 Feb 2024, 05:16 PM
Updated : 16 Feb 2024, 05:16 PM

Bangladesh’s economy has posted a 6.07 percent growth in the first quarter of 2023-24 fiscal year, down from 8.76 percent in the same period a year ago and 6.24 percent in the previous quarter.

The Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics published the data on gross domestic product for the July-September period on Thursday – the first quarterly GDP data by the national statistical agency.

The national economy, along with the others around the world, took a hit in the 2019-20 fiscal year with only 3.45 percent growth, the lowest in decades, because of the coronavirus pandemic after a record 8.15 percent growth in 2018-19.

Bangladesh tackled the crisis and turned around with 6.94 percent growth in 2020-21 and 7.1 percent in 2021-22.

The government set the GDP growth target at 7.5 percent for the 2022-23 fiscal year, but the ripple effects of the Russia-Ukraine war again came as a hard blow.

The final data for the 2022-23 fiscal year now shows a 5.78 percent growth after provisional data estimated the growth at 6.03 percent.

With more conflicts raging in several parts of the world, economists say it will be difficult to achieve the 7.5 percent GDP growth target for the current fiscal year.

They complained about a lack of quarterly GDP data, arguing that annual data alone cannot give a clear picture of the economy.

The BBS has now started publishing the quarterly data as part of the conditions of the International Monetary Fund’s $4.7 billion loan programme, which Bangladesh took to create a buffer for depleting dollar reserves.

The latest data shows a fall in the growth of agriculture and service sectors, dragging the total GDP growth down in the July-September period.

The agriculture sector’s growth fell to 0.84 percent from 2.07 percent a year ago. The service sector saw the growth declining to 3.96 percent from 12.87 percent year-on-year.

The industries sector posted a robust 9.67 percent growth, up from 7.17 percent in the first quarter of the last financial year.