Bangladesh’s economy grew 7.28 percent in the last fiscal year, the highest in the country’s history.
The development came after the Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics (BBS) updated the final estimate of the gross domestic product growth for 2016-17.
In the final count, the GDP growth rose by 4 basis points from the provisional estimate of 7.24 percent, riding on the faster growth of the services sector.
The state-run statistical agency informed the Executive Committee of the National Economic Council about the updated GDP estimate at a meeting on November 14.
After the meeting, Planning Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal said: “A new record has been set. For the first time, GDP growth rose to 7.28 percent.”
He said the country’s economic growth would cross 8 percent in 2018-19.
The government has set a growth target of 7.4 percent for the current fiscal year.
With the updated GDP growth data, the country’s per capita income increased to $1,610, according to the minister.
As per the provisional estimate, GDP grew 7.24 percent in 2016-17 despite a significant fall in agriculture growth.
Yesterday the planning ministry, in a statement, also said the agriculture GDP grew 2.97 percent in the last fiscal year, down from 3.4 percent stated in the provisional estimate. In 2015-16, the agriculture GDP rose 2.79 percent.
The industrial sector grew 10.22 percent in the last fiscal year, again down from 10.50 percent in the provisional estimate. In 2015-16, the sector expanded 11.09 percent.
But the services sector widened 6.69 percent in 2016-17, up from 6.50 percent in the interim estimate. The sector grew 6.25 percent in the previous year.
Development partners, including the World Bank, had projected GDP growth below 7 percent for the last fiscal year.
The WB had said Bangladesh’s GDP would grow 6.8 percent in the last fiscal year. The growth in fiscal 2016-17 was overestimated as the government undercounted the flood-induced losses in agriculture, among others, according to the WB’s Bangladesh Development Update.
Besides, some of the windfalls, such as the large pay increases in the public and related sectors, which boosted the services sector growth in fiscal 2016-17, tapered off, it said.
According to the planning minister, Bangladesh’s GDP has more than doubled in a span of a decade: it was $100 billion in 2006-07 and has now risen to $250 billion.