Analysis of a “Hartal Economy”

March 2015:  While there is no dispute that political instability is a deterrent to economic performance, it is perhaps an even more moot point in the context of frontier economies such as Bangladesh. As of March 2015, hartals have sustained for two months since January 6, and the damage to lives of citizens, property, productivity, business revenue, trade-competitiveness, has been staggering and unprecedented. The Bangladesh economy has grown at over 6% for ten straight years until this year, and this the year when many analysts and economists expected Bangladesh to near the 7% annual GDP growth rate. Such economic targets have taken a backseat however, in the context of the malaise that has gripped the country. Policy-makers, trade bodies, industry associations, regulators, conglomerates and average citizens are now forced to realign their respective priorities in the context of a “Hartal Economy.” This report aims to dissect the vagaries of a hartal economy by analyzing the impact of hartals through various sectoral and thematic prisms of Bangladeshi economic life.

 

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