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Coronavirus

Pakistan’s Economy Contracts for First Time in 68 Years by -0.4%

ISLAMABAD– Pakistan says its economy will contract in the fiscal year ending June 30, for the first time in 68 years, as a result of the global pandemic.

Prime Minister Imran Khan’s adviser on finance, Abdul Hafeez Sheikh, said Thursday GDP in the outgoing fiscal year will shrink 0.4%, instead of an initially projected 2.4% growth. The new fiscal year starts July 1.

Despite recently getting a $6 billion bailout plan from the International Monetary Fund, Pakistan’s economy has witnessed a steady decline since 2018 when Khan’s government came into power.

On Thursday, Pakistan recorded 5,834 new confirmed cases, the highest single-day number of infections.

That increased overall cases to 119,536 and COVID-19 deaths climbed to 2,356 with 101 new fatalities in the previous 24 hours.

Pakistan has witnessed a spike in deaths and infections since last month, when Khan’s government eased lockdown — despite warnings from experts and medical professionals. Khan insists he took the decision to save the economy from a possible collapse.

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