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Economy to maintain growth pace in 2017: BB

DHAKA, Dec 30, 2016 (BSS) - With all major economic indicators performing strong in the outgoing year 2016, the economy is showing prospect of maintaining the steady growth pace in 2017, according to Bangladesh Bank (BB).

"All economic indicators including inflation, foreign exchange reserve, exchange rate and credit flow in private sector are in broadly in line with the targets for 2016-17 financial year (FY17)", said Bangladesh Bank (BB) economic adviser Dr M Akhtaruzzaman.

He said all the indicators are showing that the economy would maintain the steady growth path in the coming year.

According to the central bank, the point to point inflation was 5.38

percent in November, which was close to the target of 5.8 percent for 2016-17 FY17.

The reserve also hit a record of $32 billion in 2016, which was enough for meeting the country's six months' import cost.

The local currency was stable against the green buck as the average

exchange rate of US dollar was Taka 78.83 on December 21, 2016 against Taka 78.66 in December 2015.

The private credit growth, a major pulse of economic activities, also grew by 15.34 percent in the first quarter of FY 17, close to the fiscal target of 16.5 percent.

"We are very much hopeful to achieve the 16.5 percent credit growth at the end of the FY17 as the investment is increasing," the economist said.

Akhtaruzzaman, also executive director of BB, said the lending rate is now about 10.0 percent which is the lowest in the recent times.

Terming the 2016 as a stable year for financial sector, BB's chief

spokesperson Subhankar Saha said inflation rate, record foreign exchange reserves and export earnings were in comfortable position.

Saha said BB has already achieved 43.0 percent of its targeted

agriculture loan distribution as the banks has already distributed Taka 7,551 crore out of Taka 17,550 crore in first five month in the fiscal.

"The money flow in all sectors including Small and Medium-size

Enterprises (SMEs), industries and agriculture and non-farm rural sector has increased significantly." he added.

In 2016, he said, banks distributed Taka 1 lakh 1 thousand crore SME loan, which helped farmers grow more crop and create more jobs in the agriculture sector.

He said the central bank is now working on agent banking and green

banking to make the economy further vibrant to help the country achieve middle income status.

Source: Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha (BSS)