Pakistan’s Quarterly GDP Data Rollout an Important Step: World Bank

World Bank

The World Bank has praised the November release of Pakistan’s quarterly national accounts, calling it a significant advancement for the country’s economic statistics. This new data rollout by the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS) on November 28, 2023, marks a major milestone in Pakistan’s macroeconomic statistics program.

World Bank officials emphasized that accurate, timely data is crucial for smart economic policy and decision-making. The introduction of Quarterly National Accounts (QNA) aligns with international standards from the System of National Accounts, providing a robust foundation for short-term economic policy responses in Pakistan.

These quarterly data offer more frequent and up-to-date information on Pakistan’s economy, allowing for timely and impactful decision-making. The initial release includes quarterly estimates of gross value added (GVA) by industry and quarterly GDP in current and constant prices, consistent with the latest annual GDP estimates.

Quarterly National Accounts are essential for assessing short-term economic performance and forecasting future economic trends. They help track industry performance, identify main growth contributors, and provide early estimates of annual GDP. This data is invaluable for understanding economic shocks, business cycles, and dynamic relationships within the economy, especially during high inflation or significant price changes.

The World Bank provided technical assistance through regular virtual sessions and a workshop in June 2023, helping PBS establish a methodology, design a measurement framework, and implement a sustainable release strategy. This initiative positions Pakistan as a full subscriber to the IMF Special Data Dissemination Standard (SDDS), enhancing its access to international capital markets and fostering further economic development.