Islamabad: Pakistan achieved the highest annual growth of 5.3% in a decade and the size of the country’s economy has surpassed $300 billion, a media report said on Thursday. The 5.3% growth was achieved on the back of recovery in the agriculture sector and better-than-expected performance in the services sector.

Gross Domestic Product (GDP), the monetary value of all goods and services produced in one year, is projected to have grown at a rate of 5.28% during the fiscal year 2016- 17 ending on June 30, National Accounts Committee (NAC) said. However, the figure is provisional and subject to variations once the final results are available at the end of the fiscal year.

At 5.3%, Pakistan’s economic growth has finally attained the pace it had before the crisis hit the country in 2008, ‘The Express Tribune’ reported. For the next fiscal year 2017-18, the government has set the GDP growth target at 6%. As a result of over 5% growth rate, the nominal size of Pakistan’s economy increased to $304.4 billion. Slightly over two-thirds of the growth – 67% to be precise – came from the services sector, which performed even better than the estimates.

The government achieved services and agriculture sectors growth targets but missed the industrial sector growth target despite heavy focus on it. After witnessing flat growth in the last fiscal year, the agriculture sector this time performed better due to exceptional growth in forestry and better performance of major important crops. The sector grew at a pace of 3.5%, equivalent to the annual target.

The government missed all its targets set for the industrial sector despite having the most favoured status. The output of large-scale manufacturing stood at 4.9%, below the official target while small-scale manufacturing grew to 8.1%. Mining and quarrying sub sector grew only 1.3% against a target of 7.4%. The construction sector grew at a pace of 9% but missed the target of 15.2%.

The services sector, which accounts for more than half the economy, grew by almost 6 per cent against a target of 5.7%. Aided by heavy government borrowing and an increase in the money supply, the financial services sector and government services beat expectations. Wholesale and retail trade posted 6.8 per cent growth against a target of 5.5%. Transport, storage & communication sub sector saw 3.9% growth. Finance and insurance witnessed 10.8% growth against a target of 7.2%. PTI