Friday, November 18, 2016

World Bank Reports Big Jump in Living Standards of Poor Pakistanis

A November 2016 World Bank report says that Pakistan has successfully translated economic growth into the well-being of its poorest citizens. It says "Pakistan’s recent growth has been accompanied by a staggering fall in poverty".

Rising incomes of the poorest 20% in Pakistan since 2002 have enabled them to enhance their living standards by improving their diets and acquiring television sets, refrigerators, motorcycles, flush toilets, and better housing.

Another recent report titled "From Wealth to Well Being" by Boston Consulting Group (BCG) also found that Pakistan does better than India and China in translating GDP growth to citizens' well-being.

One particular metric BCG report uses is growth-to-well-being coefficient on which Pakistan scores 0.87, higher than India's 0.77 and China's 0.75.

Big Poverty Decline Since 2002:

Using the old national poverty line of $1.90 (ICP 2011 PPP) , set in 2001, the percentage of people living in poverty fell from 34.7 percent in FY02 to 9.3 percent in FY14—a fall of more than 75 percent. Much of the socioeconomic progress reported by the World Bank since 2000 has occurred during President Musharraf's years in office from 2000-2007. It has dramatically slowed or stagnated since 2010.

Source: World Bank Report Nov 2016

Using the new 2016 poverty line of $3.50 (ICP 2011 PPP),  29.5 percent of Pakistanis as poor (using the latest available data from FY14). By back casting this line, the poverty rate in FY02 would have been about 64.3 percent.

Pakistan's new poverty line sets a minimum consumption threshold of Rs. 3,030 or $105 (ICP 2011 PPP) per person per month or $3.50 (ICP 2011 PPP) per person per day. This translates to between Rs. 18,000 and Rs. 21,000 per month for a household at the poverty line, allowing nearly 30% of the population or close to 60 million people to be targeted for pro-poor and inclusive development policies—thus setting a much higher bar for inclusive development.

Multi-dimensional Poverty Decline:

A UNDP report released in June 2016 said Pakistan’s MPI (Multi-dimensional poverty index) showed a strong decline, with national poverty rates falling from 55% to 39% from 2004 to 2015. MPI goes beyond just income poverty.

The Multidimensional Poverty Index uses a broader concept of poverty than income and wealth alone. It reflects the deprivations people experience with respect to health, education and standard of living, and is thus a more detailed way of understanding and alleviating poverty. Since its development by OPHI and UNDP in 2010, many countries, including Pakistan, have adopted this methodology as an official poverty estimate, complementing consumption or income-based poverty figures.

Rising Living Standards of the Poorest 20% in Pakistan:

According to the latest World Report titled "Pakistan Development Update: Making Growth Matter" released this month, Pakistan saw substantial gains in welfare, including the ownership of assets, the quality of housing and an increase in school enrollment, particularly for girls.



First, the ownership of relatively more expensive assets increased even among the poorest. In the bottom quintile, the ownership of motorcycles increased from 2 to 18 percent, televisions from 20 to 36 percent and refrigerators from 5 to 14 percent.

In contrast, there was a decline in the ownership of cheaper assets like bicycles and radios.



Housing quality in the bottom quintile also showed an improvement. The number of homes constructed with bricks or blocks increased while mud (katcha) homes decreased. Homes with a flushing toilet almost doubled in the bottom quintile, from about 24 percent in FY02 to 49 percent in FY14.

Dietary Improvements for the Poorest 20% in Pakistan:

Decline in poverty led to an increase in dietary diversity for all income groups.

For the poorest, the share of expenditure devoted to milk and milk products, chicken, eggs and fish rose, as did the share devoted to vegetables and fruits.

In contrast, the share of cereals and pulses, which provide the cheapest calories, declined steadily between FY02 and FY14. Because foods like chicken, eggs, vegetables, fruits, and milk and milk products are more expensive than cereals and pulses, and have lower caloric content, this shift in consumption also increased the amount that people spent per calorie over time.

For the poorest quintile, expenditure per calorie increased by over 18 percent between FY02 and FY14. Overall, this analysis confirms that the decline in poverty exhibited by the 2001 poverty line is quite credible, and that Pakistan has done remarkably well overall in reducing monetary poverty based on the metric it set some 15 years ago, says the World Bank.

Summary:

In spite of Pakistan's many challenges on multiple fronts, the country has successfully translated its GDP growth into the well-being of its poorest citizens. "Pakistan’s recent growth has been accompanied by a staggering fall in poverty", says a November 2016 World Bank report.  An earlier report by Boston Consulting Group reached a similar conclusion.

Related Links:

Haq's Musings

Pakistan Translates GDP Growth to Citizens' Well-being

Rising Motorcycle Sales in Pakistan

Depth of Deprivation in India

Chicken vs Daal in Pakistan

China Pakistan Economic Corridor

ADB Raises Pakistan GDP Growth Forecast

9 comments:

Realistic said...

Basically Mr. Haq - you are pointing towards the Macro Economic stabilization that started in Musharraf's era (after three years of Musharraf being in power) that laid the foundation for this positive development.

As we all know that impact of macro level economic policies does not yield immediate results as might be claimed by some PMLN supporters - like they claim Gawadar Port (6th inauguration) and CPEC (third inauguration) in Sharif's era.

Please correct me where am I implying things incorrectly. Thanks!!

Riaz Haq said...

Realistic: " As we all know that impact of macro level economic policies does not yield immediate results as might be claimed by some PMLN supporters - like they claim Gawadar Port (6th inauguration) and CPEC (third inauguration) in Sharif's era."

Yes, you are right.

If you look at the graphs, you'll see that the World Bank report covers period from 2002 to 2014. It also says that progress has considerably slowed since 2010.

Junior said...

I read the same report but it says growth has NOT translated into well-being (**marked?)

Here is that paragraph from the Executive Summary page:

Pakistan’s growth accelerated in FY16, driven by consumption while investment
remained low. Exports continued to fall when soft global demand exacerbated the
effects of Pakistan’s long-term decline in competitiveness. After achieving
macroeconomic stability, the government continued to deliver on its structural
reform agenda in FY16, but much remains to be done if growth is to be
strengthened and sustained. The government’s next challenge will be to invest in**********
health, education and nutrition; Pakistan’s staggering fall in poverty over the last 14 *
years has not been accompanied by a similar improvement in wellbeing. The *
country’s long-term growth depends on this investment in its people—this is what
will make growth matter for Pakistanis.

Riaz Haq said...

Junior: "I read the same report but it says growth has NOT translated into well-being"


I disagree with your interpretation. It does not say that "growth has NOT translated into well-being"

What it does say is that " Pakistan’s staggering fall in poverty over the last 14 years has not been accompanied by a similar improvement in wellbeing".

Pay attention to the words "staggering" and "similar" in the sentence.

What it means is that the improvement in wellbeing has not been as staggering as the fall in poverty.

Read it again: http://documents.worldbank.org/curated/en/935241478612633044/pdf/109961-WP-PUBLIC-disclosed-11-9-16-5-pm-Pakistan-Development-Update-Fall-2016-with-compressed-pics.pdf

Boston Consulting Group reports it quantitively in terms of growth-to-well-being coefficient on which Pakistan scores 0.87, higher than India's 0.77 and China's 0.75. Among South Asian nations, Bangladesh scores much higher at 1.03. The top ten countries in “current well-being” remain in Western Europe.

http://www.riazhaq.com/2016/07/pakistan-scores-better-than-india-in.html

nayyer ali said...

Very interesting data. Looks like Pakistan changed its definition of poverty from the the parameter the World Bank has set for "extreme poverty" to a somewhat higher standard, which gives a better picture of how many people in Pakistan are poor.
Pakistan has made good progress in material living standards, but it does lag India and Bangladesh in infant mortality. Also, while it does a better job than India at secondary and tertiary education attainment, it lags in getting to universal primary enrollment. There is still underinvestment in basic education and health.
The CPEC is going to be transformative. If a country has good economic policies, then development is highly contingent on electricity generation, infrastructure, and education. CPEC will help with the first two in a big way, and economic growth should see a long term shift upward.
Current Pakistan GDP per capita at purchasing power is around 4500 dollars. If developed status means per capita income reaches 20,000, that means a bit more than 2 doublings. 5% per capita GDP growth (7% overall growth) would get Pakistan to that level in 3 decades.
For all its ups and downs, the concept of Pakistan has been a big success, if we take the benchmark as what happened to the Muslims that stayed in India instead.

Riaz Haq said...

#Modi's #demonetization : #India's GDP growth rate will crash to just 0.5% in 2nd half of FY17 via @forbes

http://www.forbes.com/sites/timworstall/2016/11/19/effects-of-demonetisation-on-indias-gdp-difficult-to-calculate-we-dont-even-know-the-sign/#2d23f7744a1a

Ambit Capital, a respected Mumbai-based equity research firm, has officially estimated that the demonetisation-driven cash crunch will result in GDP growth crashing to 0.5% in the second half of financial year 2016-17. This means the GDP growth for six months, from October 2016 to March 2017, could decelerate to 0.5%, down from 6.4% in the previous six months.

Further, Ambit Capital estimates that during the October to December quarter that we are currently in, the GDP growth may contract, thus showing negative growth. However, Ambit is hopeful that a strong formalisation of the informal economy will ensue through 2017 until 2019 and this disruption could also crimp GDP growth in 2017-18 to 5.8 % from their earlier estimate of 7.3%.

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“The demonetisation-driven cash crunch that is playing out in India will paralyse economic activity in the short term. We expect a strong ‘formalisation effect’ to play out as nearly half of the non-tax paying businesses in the informal sector (40% share in GDP) will become unviable and cede market share to their organised sector counterparts. We expect this dynamic to crimp GDP growth in India in FY18 as well and hence we have cut our FY18 GDP growth estimate to 5.8 per cent YoY (from 7.3 per cent),” Ambit economists Ritika Mankar Mukherjee, Sumit Shekhar and Prashant Mittal said in a note.

Anonymous said...

I am sure Benazir Income Support Program has also played some role in poverty reduction.

Zamir

Riaz Haq said...

World Bank poverty data

Below $1.90 PPP: Pakistan 7.9% India 21.2%

Below $3.10 PPP: Pakistan 43.6% India 58%

http://povertydata.worldbank.org/poverty/region/SAS

Riaz Haq said...

#Pakistan expects bumper harvest of #cereals #wheat, #rice in 2017 with better prices for farmers http://reliefweb.int/report/pakistan/giews-country-brief-pakistan-30-november-2016?utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=shared&utm_source=twitter.com … via @reliefweb

Favourable prospects for 2017 wheat crop production

Planting of the 2017, mostly irrigated, ‘’rabi’’ (winter) wheat crop is currently underway and will continue until mid-December. Near-average irrigation water supplies in the main wheat-growing areas of Punjab and Sindh provinces are benefitting plantings and early crop development in these areas. However, below-normal rains hindered planting operations in the minor rainfed-producing ‘’barani areas’’, located in the northern parts of Punjab Province.

Current official forecasts put the 2017 wheat output at a record level of 26 million tonnes, 2 percent up from the 2016 bumper output. This forecast rests on expectations that adequate water availability in the main reservoirs will boost plantings, while the good supply of quality seeds, fertilizers and herbicides will increase average yields.

Above-average 2016 summer cereal crops estimated

Harvesting of the 2016 summer (monsoon) season maize and rice crops is almost complete. FAO estimates the 2016 paddy and maize outputs at 10.3 million tonnes and 5.2 million tonnes, respectively, slightly above the previous year’s production. This result follows generally favourable weather conditions during the cropping season, coupled with an adequate water supply for irrigation and good access to fertilizers and other basic inputs.

Rice exports to increase in 2016

FAO forecasts rice exports in 2016 at 4.4 million tonnes, representing a 7 percent increase from the 2015 level, thanks to competitively priced non-basmati supplies.

Wheat exports in the 2016/17 marketing year (May/April) are forecast to increase from the previous year’s low level to 800 000 tonnes, in line with the 2016 overall good output and large carryover stocks.

Prices of wheat and wheat flour strengthened in recent months

Prices of wheat and wheat flour, the country’s main staples, have strengthened in recent months, following seasonal patterns, but remained below their year-earlier levels owing to good availabilities following a bumper 2016 crop.

Food security conditions overall stable but concerns remain in Tharparkar District and northern Pakistan

Overall, the food supply situation is stable following two consecutive years of good harvests and large carryover stocks of the main staples. However, food security concerns remain in some areas, particularly in Tharparkar District and northern Pakistan.

In Tharparkar District (southeastern Sindh Province) and the surrounding areas of Sindh Province, a below-average drought-affected cereal production for the third consecutive year, coupled with losses of small animals, especially sheep and goats, has aggravated food insecurity and caused acute malnutrition.

Food insecurity has been exacerbated by the lingering negative impact of the 2015 floods; the provinces of Sindh, Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa were most affected. Official assessments reported the loss of lives and severe damage to housing, infrastructure and agriculture. Households in northern parts of the country have also not fully recovered from the impact of the earthquake in October 2015.

The Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, located in northern Pakistan, are still affected by the return process after the large scale displacement (312 000 families or around 1.9 million people) due to insurgency in FATA. According to OCHA estimates, as of October 2016, over 1.3 million refugees remained displaced in northern Pakistan. These populations rely mainly on humanitarian assistance, including food aid, healthcare and other necessities.