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Improved security among factors bolstering Pakistan's economy: IMF

AFP

ISLAMABAD -- Pakistan's economy has gained momentum amid improved security and other policy moves, but the government needs to do more to head off growing risks, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) said Thursday (December 14).

An IMF team wrapped up a week-long visit in Islamabad to review the economy, and mission chief Harald Finger warned that discipline in government accounts to contain the deficit and allowing the currency to move more freely will be key.

"While the authorities have taken steps to address these challenges, greater efforts are required to prevent a further build-up of vulnerabilities and preserve Pakistan's hard-won macroeconomic stability," Finger said in a statement, noting that a surge of imports has drained the central bank's reserves.

The fund now expects the country's economy to grow by 5.6% this year, an improvement on the forecast released just two months ago.

That would be the fastest growth in a decade, but many economists say that to have a real impact on poverty, the country would need a sustainable growth rate of 6-8% for several years in a row.

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