Zahid Hussain

The author is former lead economist of the World Bank’s Dhaka office.

April 5, 2022
April 5, 2022

A travesty of democracy

Facing the ignominy of being voted out, Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan has taken an unprecedented step—advising the president for dissolution of the National Assembly and calling for early elections.

March 22, 2022
March 22, 2022

Inflation: more to come

Inflation is rising in Bangladesh as it is in several advanced and emerging economies. Increased headline inflation in February was driven by a spike in food inflation. The 12-month moving average inflation has been on an upward trend since the November 2019 to October 2020 period.

March 3, 2022
March 3, 2022

No one immune from the impact of Russia-Ukraine conflict

The economic damage from supply disruptions triggered by the confluence of events around the Russian invasion of Ukraine would be severe in some countries and industries and less so in others depending on the depth and breadth of economic ties,

February 9, 2022
February 9, 2022

Spike in GDP growth: hard to fathom

There was no doubt that the growth in gross domestic product (GDP) in FY21 was better than the growth in FY20 even though the pandemic was present with all its ferocity in both years.

January 9, 2022
January 9, 2022

No growth in real wages

The Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics (BBS) data provides a somewhat mixed picture on how labour is benefitting from the ongoing economic recovery in Bangladesh.

December 27, 2021
December 27, 2021

Rising inflation creates a trilemma

Consumer price growth has spiked, driven by non-food inflation which is approaching 7 per cent. Inflation in Bangladesh is catching up with global trends. As in the case of the rest of the world, cost-push has been the most important driver which in turn came from increases in energy prices. 

November 2, 2021
November 2, 2021

Gain some, lose some

Timely revisions to data on GDP and its components determine the accuracy of national accounts estimates and their comparability across countries.

October 24, 2021
October 24, 2021

Harnessing potential gains from outward FDI

Corporate Bangladesh is increasingly demanding the easing of draconian restrictions on outward foreign direct investment (OFDI) as they seek to diversify earnings. Indeed, OFDI can yield financial, intangible capability, and tangible capacity returns, thus complementing the development benefits realised through trade, migration and inward FDI.

May 17, 2021
May 17, 2021

Budgeting to make a difference

While the pandemic waves on, the budget should focus on crisis management, prioritising spending on health, targeting fiscal support to distressed families and enterprises, restoring the functionality of education, and building on the resilience demonstrated by agriculture while keeping an eye on revenues. A business-as-usual budget like last year will miss the boat again.

April 8, 2021
April 8, 2021

Pursuing new approaches to deliver quality education is key

In-person schooling in Bangladesh has remained shut since March 2020. Children have already lost a full year, equivalent to 0.6 learning-adjusted years of schooling based on the learning gap implied by the World Bank (WB) in its Human Capital Index (2020) for Bangladesh.