AEIR 2021

Real GDP fell in 2020 by an estimated 5.0%, as COVID-19 containment measures worsened the impact of persistent violence and political instability. Industry contracted by 5.0% and services by more than 9.0% as global demand for Afghan products plunged. Agriculture, however, grew by 5.0%. Higher food prices doubled inflation to 5.6% in 2020 from 2.3% in 2019. Unemployment jumped to 37.9% from a 23.9% baseline in 2019. The poverty rate worsened from 54.5% in 2017 to around 61%–72% in 2020. Higher government spending and lower revenues widened the fiscal deficit to 20.8% of GDP from 13.9% in 2019. Development grants deepened gross international reserves to $9.7 billion in 2020, covering nearly 20 months of imports. As market activity begins to normalize, growth is expected to rebound to 3.0% in 2021 and improve to 4.0% in 2022.

Source: Asian Development Outlook 2021.
Latest Month-Ago Year-Ago
Headline Inflation Rate 1 3.0 (Mar20)3.8 1.8
Merchandise Export Growth 1 426.4 (Jun21)426.4 92.9
Exchange Rate Index 2 174.5 (Sep21)168.3 154.9
1 y-o-y, %.
2 Monthly average, January 2006 = 100, $/local currency.
Source: CEIC database.

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