Bangladesh’s economy remained upbeat and strong in the outgoing year despite a sense of political tension centring the national polls created a brief period of uncertainty in the last quarter of the year.
At the beginning of 2018, several banks saw changes in ownership. Most of the banks were operating as usual although several state-run banks and fourth generation banks were in focus due to lack of proper credit management around the year.
Former Bangladesh Bank Governor Atiur Rahman termed 2018 as a ‘buoyant year’ for the economy. The year saw impressive performances in export, remittances, record agricultural production and expansion in digital services, including e-commerce and f-commerce, Dr Atiur said.
“The growth rate remained consistently high at nearly 8 per cent. The mega projects became increasingly visible in 2018. Huge pressure on dollars due to steep growth in import led to a significant depreciation of Taka throughout the year, although the exchange rate was stabilized at the end of the year,” Prof Atiur Rahman said while talking to the daily sun on Thursday.
Country’s FDI reached $ 2.84 billion in 2018 compared to $2.15 billion a year ago, he said.
Banks brought down the lending rate to a single digit as an initiative from the owners as per Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s direction for flourishing credit flow for sake of country’s development.
According to Atiur, the credit growth fell to 14.01 per cent in November at the backdrop of a huge controversy around the unstable rate of interest.
“The overall inflation remained subdued leading to peaceful every day living of the lower income groups.
The social indicators, including falling poverty rate have also shown stunning performances,” Prof Atiur said.
He also said the business outlook looks robust in the current year following a successful national election at the yearend.