UN report says Bangladesh’s economic growth dropped to 0.5% in 2020

Bangladesh economic growth

Bangladesh has seen a dramatic drop in its economic growth in the 2020 calendar year as the country’s

Bangladesh’s ‘much hyped’ economic growth fell to 0.5% in 2020 from 8.4% in 2019, says a United Nations (UN) report.

The UN made the report titled “World Economic Situation and Prospects 2021” public on Monday.

The report mentioned pandemic and the global economic crisis as reasons of economic slump in South Asia, adding Bangladesh, the fastest growing economy in the region, managed to mitigate the decline in the second half of 2020 through recovery in trade and remittances.

The report said the country’s economic growth declined to 4.3% in the 2019-2020 fiscal year. It also projected the economic growth to grow at 5.1% in the 2020-2021 fiscal year and further 7.6% in the 2021-2022 fiscal year.

According to Bangladesh government version, the country achieved 5.2% growth in the 2019-2020 fiscal year while the World Bank estimated the economic growth at only 2% and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) at 3.8%.

The UN said that the world economy is “on a cliffhanger,” and still reeling from the Covid-19 pandemic whose impact will be felt for years but still expected to make a modest recovery of 4.7% in 2021 which would barely offset 2020 losses.

The once-in-a-century crisis sparked by the global impact of the coronavirus caused the global economy to shrink by 4.3% in 2020 – the sharpest contraction in global output since the Great Depression that began in 1929 and far higher than the 1.7% reduction during the Great Recession of 2009.

UN chief economist Elliott Harris, the assistant secretary-general for economic development said, “The depth and severity of the unprecedented crisis foreshadows a slow and painful recovery.”

The report said that the lockdowns, quarantine measures, and social distancing introduced during the second quarter of 2020 “helped to save lives but also disrupted the livelihoods of hundreds of millions of people worldwide.”

“By April, full or partial lockdown measures had affected almost 2.7 billion workers, representing about 81% of the world’s workforce,” the report said. 

Another 131 million people were pushed into poverty, many of them women, children and people from marginalized communities.

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