The Centre for Policy Dialogue (CPD) has predicted a bleak economic prospect for Bangladesh, setting the country’s gross domestic product growth at only 2.5 per cent for the current fiscal year due to the coronavirus pandemic fallout.

If the GDP growth does come down to 2.5 percent as per CPD’s projections, it will be the lowest figure in 25 years in Bangladesh according to Bangladesh Bank data, since 1994 saw a 4.1 percent GDP growth.

The country last witnessed a less-than-three-per cent GDP growth (2.83 per cent) in 1989-90 due to a devastating flood.

The organisation also predicted that the poverty in the country will soar by 35 percent.

CPD made the disclosure under an “optimistic scenario”, saying that this is the best case of the country’s economic growth given that no further nationwide shutdowns are put in place to restrict the spread of the coronavirus pandemic.

The think-tank came up with the prediction during a virtual briefing on its report on “Challenges of Policymaking in Times of Pandemics” on Sunday.

In the previous fiscal year, Bangladesh saw GDP growth of 8.15 percent — an all-time high — and riding on the back of record growth figures from 2016 onwards.

Earlier, World Bank projected 2.0% – 3.0% GDP growth, International Monetary Fund 3.8% and Economist Intelligence Unit estimated 1.6% GDP growth for Bangladesh during outgoing fiscal year. The GDP growth of previous fiscal year was 8.15 percent.