Previous Editions

Medium-term fiscal plans must align macroeconomic policies

The global economy is expected to grow by 3.0 per cent in 2023, before slowing down to 2.7 per cent in 2024. Despite the weaker-than-expected recovery in China, in 2023-24 a disproportionate share of worldwide growth is expected to continue to come from Asia. After a stronger-than-expected start to 2023, assisted by lower energy prices and the full reopening of China after Covid ease, worldwide growth is expected to moderate, a study by international experts showed.

According to experts, the impact of tighter monetary policy is becoming increasingly visible, business and consumer confidence have turned down, and the rebound in China has faded. In 2023 and 2024 statistics analysed that global GDP growth is projected to remain sub-par, at 3 per cent and 2.7 per cent respectively, held back through the macroeconomic policy tightening required to rein in inflation. Annual GDP growth in US is expected to slow from 2.2 per cent this year to 1.3 per cent in 2024, as tighter financial situations moderate demand pressures. In the euro area, where demand is already subdued, GDP growth is projected to ease to 0.6 per cent in 2023, and edge up to 1.1 per cent in 2024 as the adverse impact of high inflation on real incomes fades. Growth in China is expected to be held back through subdued local demand and structural stresses in property markets, easing to 5.1 per cent in 2023 and 4.6 per cent in 2024.

Pakistan’s aspect

In developing countries like Pakistan, since 2009 the funding to e-commerce startups has witnessed a steep upward trajectory as it grew from $2.3 million in 2019 to over $190 million in 2022. Statistics also showed that the sector’s share in Pakistan’s total investment value grew tenfold, even though most of this capital was deployed in the business-to-business (B2B) segment of late. In 2021 the number of deals hit a peak of 21, before easing down to 16 in 2022 as venture-capitalist (VC) activity slowed down worldwide.


The country’s e-commerce sector last year accounted for greater than one-fifth of all investments made. Since 2018-19 the number of e-commerce merchants recorded with banks has seen a steady uptake in digitally paid orders. Experts investigated that the number of transactions went up, and so did their value in rupee terms. In the October-December quarter of 2022, the throughput reached Rs 34.2 billion while the volumes were still lower than the same 3-month period a year ago. The firms are struggling to even sustain their existing sales levels according to the state of business-to-consumer (B2C) e-commerce in Pakistan, let alone grow their operations.

Impact on e-commerce 

Statistics show Pakistan’s e-commerce platforms is ranked 47th worldwide with an estimated revenue of $6.4 billion for 2023. It is recorded that electronics and media constitute the largest share with a 34.1 per cent stake. An investigation consisting of facts from Pakistan’s top online stores shows the expected compound annual growth rate (CAGR) over the next five years is 6.2 per cent. Owing to the continuous depreciation and the resulting cut in economic growth forecasts, the expected growth rate is relatively muted. Over the years, even though the online B2C retail market has grown in size, the country still lags well behind comparable economies such as Egypt, Indonesia, the Philippines and Bangladesh.

In both absolute and relative terms, Pakistan’s market size is the lowest among the peer group. Moreover, the share of Pakistan’s e-commerce is not captured in existing facts such as various prepaid orders are via interbank funds transfer and, therefore, not reflected in overall card-based e-commerce numbers.

According to data, Pakistan’s biggest click-and-mortar store is J., with global revenue of $71.8 million a year, followed by Limelight ($50.3 million), Gul Ahmed ($48.3 million), Khaadi ($29.1 million) and Sapphire ($34.2 million). Similarly, the biggest e-commerce platforms in terms of traffic was Daraz with annual hits of 112.1 million, followed by Bagallery (13 million), Laam (5.9 million), (4.1 million) and Priceoye (14.7 million). Consumer purchasing behaviour it is said, is a huge problem that threatens the economic sectors and it is distinguished through continual change. The social, cultural, economic, personal, political and psychological are the elements that affect the consumers’ purchasing processes.

In general, the behaviour constitutes the individuals’ norms and values which are acquired from their community. Consumer purchasing behaviour advert to a chain of coherent processes which, are done through a person or a group of people, consisting of some steps like selection, purchasing and consumption of goods and services to satisfy their needs and wants. There are various elements and characteristics of society and also that the consumer holds as a consequence of growing up in this environment, which influence the identity of the person and the decisions he will make like shopping habits, purchasing behavior etc. as there are dissimilar sorts of consumers’ purchasing behaviours which constitute dissimilar sorts of consumer decisions like limited, nominal, extended and impulsive decision-making process.


The governments are faced with mounting fiscal pressures from rising debt burdens and additional spending on aging populations. Enhanced near-term efforts to rebuild fiscal space and credible medium-term fiscal plans are needed to better align near-term macroeconomic policies and help ensure debt sustainability.

Structural policy efforts need to be reinvigorated to strengthen growth prospects. Reducing barriers in labour and product markets and enhancing skills development would help to boost investment, productivity and labour force participation, and make growth more inclusive. The Government of Pakistan must increase global trade, which is a significant source of long-term prosperity for both advanced and emerging-market economies.