Economic growth and the state of the economy

November 13, 2011
M A Taslim
Economic growth and the state of the economy

Although economic growth rate gets undue weight in ordinary discourse, economists usually describe the macroeconomic health of a country by a number of macroeconomic indicators. These include investment, (un)employment, inflation, budget deficit, national debt, balance of payments, and international reserves.
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Posted in Economy | 5 Comments »

Twin deficits: Spending beyond means

October 19, 2011
M A Taslim
Twin deficits: Spending beyond means

A local daily recently organised a meeting with several economists to discuss what most of them regarded as an emerging economic crisis in the country. The crisis was viewed as gradually deepening and assuming an elephantine shape. Some described the crisis in terms of excessive credit, money and inflation, some regarded the reckless spending...
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Posted in Economy | 3 Comments »

Off the mark: Transit and connectivity

August 18, 2011
M A Taslim
Off the mark: Transit and connectivity

Transit facility for India has become quite contentious largely as a result of the way it has been handled by the government. It would have been less controversial if it had been taken up as part of an overall settlement of the outstanding bilateral issues, which appears to have been the approach taken by...
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Posted in Development, Economy, Political Economy, Politics | 7 Comments »

Off the mark: Black economy and black money

July 23, 2011
M A Taslim
Off the mark: Black economy and black money

During the penultimate hours of the final budget deliberations, where black money whitening was on the card, the Minister of Finance revealed a startling finding from a little-known study that between 45 to 81 percent of the GDP of Bangladesh is derived from black economy.
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Posted in Economy | 2 Comments »

Off the mark: Policies and debacles

July 9, 2011
M A Taslim
Off the mark: Policies and debacles

Economic policy-making is going through an interesting time. Huge opportunities are beckoning, but there are also many risks. Steering the economy in this environment is a challenging task. The rewards of correct policies will be large in terms of accelerated economic growth, but wrong policies could condemn the economy to stagnation for a considerable...
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Posted in Economy | 2 Comments »

Off the mark: Whitening black money

June 28, 2011
M A Taslim
Off the mark: Whitening black money

The government has again succumbed to the pressure of whitening (legalising) black money. This did not come as a surprise: once the government permits whitening black money, the pressure to continue with it becomes irresistible.
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Posted in Economy | 6 Comments »

Spat over growth rate

June 24, 2011
M A Taslim
Spat over growth rate

In his budget speech the Minister of Finance has formally announced that the growth rate of the economy during 2010-11 will be 6.66 percent, the highest since the early ‘70s. It was not much in doubt that the economy will grow at 6 percent plus rate, but the announced rate appeared to be on...
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Posted in Economy | 2 Comments »

Deficits and liquidity

June 1, 2011
M A Taslim
Deficits and liquidity

After a long spell of robust balance of payments surpluses, the economy seems to have fallen back to the old habit of running deficits. The overall balance of payments deficit, according to one forecast, will be about one and half billion dollars this fiscal year, and is likely to increase further next year. While...
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Posted in Economy | No Comments »

Liquidity: is there a shortage?

April 27, 2011
M A Taslim
Liquidity: is there a shortage?

Liquidity has become a controversial public issue in recent months. Commercial banks claim that they are suffering from severe liquidity crunch. Business people, especially those associated with the stock market, echo the same view. The central bank of the country (Bangladesh Bank), on the other hand insists that there is no shortage of liquidity...
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Posted in Economy | 3 Comments »

Off the mark: diversification that is not

January 9, 2011
M A Taslim

Total revenue from exports increased from less than $300 million in 1973-74 to over $16 billion in 2009-10. Despite this 53-fold nominal increase in exports, the commodity concentration of exports did not improve much, if at all it worsened. During the ‘70ss more than three-fourths of the exports comprised jute and jute goods. Over...
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Posted in Economy | 2 Comments »

Off the mark: it’s not your money

December 20, 2010
M A Taslim
Off the mark: it’s not your money

The acceleration of growth of national income of the country during the new millennium owes much to the large increase in inward remittances from its expatriate workers. These remittances have not only considerably raised the income of households, but also provided adequate foreign exchange to pay for our perpetual trade deficits and considerable foreign...
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Posted in Economy | No Comments »

Off the mark: ‘Middle’ isn’t middle

December 5, 2010
M A Taslim

Nothing catches on like a catchy phrase; it serves to both focus and deflect attention. Of late the phrase ‘middle income country’ seems to have caught the imagination of an important section of the people. Policymakers at the highest level, and lesser mortals, have repeatedly expressed their firm resolve to work towards turning Bangladesh...
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Posted in Economy | 1 Comment »

Intervention, missing money and inflation

November 12, 2010
M A Taslim
Intervention, missing money and inflation

Bangladesh continued with the fixed exchange rate regime of the Pakistani era for more than three decades. During this period the country suffered from chronic balance of payments deficits and the consequent pressure on the domestic currency to depreciate. Bangladesh Bank devalued the taka many times starting from Tk7.28...
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Posted in Economy | No Comments »

Off the mark
It ain’t so

August 20, 2010
M A Taslim

One of the most difficult problems that economists encounter in analysing economic problems of Bangladesh is the paucity of appropriate data. This is exacerbated by the fact that the available data are often of poor quality. Any analysis done with inadequate and inaccurate data is in danger of coming out with incorrect findings and...
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Posted in Economy | 1 Comment »

The governor’s dilemma

July 26, 2010
M A Taslim

The governor of Bangladesh Bank has just announced the monetary policy for the second half of 2010. He could not possibly have been very comfortable with the script; it forced a marked shift in his usual populist stance that has endeared him to the people. He quite correctly articulated the need for “due vigil...
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Posted in Economy | 3 Comments »

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