ADB projects Nepal’s economy to grow by 3.6 per cent in FY 2024


KATHMANDU, APRIL 11: The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has projected that Nepal’s economy is to grow by 3.6% (at market prices) in fiscal year 2024. Releasing the Asian Development Outlook (ADO) April 2024, a flagship publication of the Asian Development Bank (ADB) by organising a press conference here today, it shared that Nepal’s economy would go up from an estimated growth of 1.9% in fiscal year 2023.

ADB Country Director for Nepal, Arnaud Cauchois said, “A gradual relaxation of monetary policy coupled with improved consumer and investor confidence is expected to stimulate economic activity in 2024. Moreover, industry is projected to grow more rapidly than in fiscal year 2023 as capital spending by the government ramps up in the second half of the fiscal year, and as additional hydroelectricity power comes online by the end of fiscal year 2024.” Service sector growth would also likely accelerate as credit controls ease, interest rates further decrease, and tourism revenues expand.

Agriculture growth may increase marginally from 2.7% in fiscal year 2023 to 2.8% as a record rice harvest is tempered by a shortfall in winter crops and other agricultural production, given the deficient rainfall this winter season, according to the press release issued by ADB. The report projects annual average inflation to fall to 6.5% in the fiscal year 2024 from 7.7% in the fiscal year 2023 on subdued oil prices and a decline in inflation in India, Nepal’s main import source.

“External risks remain relatively well contained. The current account deficit may fall again into deficit after registering a surplus in the first half of fiscal year 2024″, clarified the ADB. As per the ADO, as the trade deficit contracted by 4.7% year-on-year in the first 6 months of fiscal year 2024, and as workers’ remittances expanded by 22.6% year-on-year, the current account recorded a surplus of $1.2 billion.

However, amid higher imports and stable remittance inflows in the remainder of the fiscal year, the 2024 current account deficit is forecast at 0.7% of gross domestic product. Similarly, ADB Principal Economist for Nepal Jan Hansen shared, “Downside risks to the economic outlook in fiscal year 2024 may arise from a downturn in the global economy affecting Nepal’s tourism and remittance receipts.”

“Any intensified geopolitical turmoil could disrupt supply chains, pushing up global inflation and tightening global financial conditions. This may lead to a tightening of domestic monetary policy, undermining investment and consumption, and dragging down growth”, reads the press release. He expressed commitment to provide possible support in favour of a prosperous and inclusive Nepal. ADB is committed to achieving a prosperous, inclusive, resilient, and sustainable Asia and the Pacific while sustaining its efforts to eradicate extreme poverty. Established in 1966, it is owned by 68 members—49 from the region.