A PricewaterhouseCoopers study released in 2009, surveying the 2008 GDP of the top cities in the world, calculated Faisalabad's GDP (PPP) at $14 billion. The city was third behind Karachi ($78 billion) and Lahore ($40 billion). Faisalabad's GDP is projected to rise to $37 billion in 2025 at a growth rate of 5.7%, higher than the growth rates of 5.5% and 5.6% predicted for Karachi and Lahore.
Faisalabad has a strong industrial base including textiles, jewellery, home furniture, and pharmaceuticals, assisted by the expanding transport network which includes newly-built motorway and highways to Lahore, Multan, Sargodha and Islamabad/Rawalpindi. Faisalabad is one of the three planned cities of the country. The eight bazaars of the city each have different types of markets and goods.
Before Pakistan's independence there were only five industrial units in Faisalabad, but now there are numerous textile mills, engineering units and chemical and food processing units. Other industries include hosiery, carpets and rugs, nawar and lace, printing and publishing, and pharmaceutical products. There are also several thousand household industries, including some 60,000 power loom factories. The richest man of Pakistan and the owner of MCB also belongs to this city. Local companies include Sitara group, Manno group (Rafhan foods), Crescent group, and Ibrahim group (owner of Allied Bank). Karachi and Faisalabad have the highest population growth rate in Pakistan.
The textile industry of Faisalabad constitutes more than 20% of the textile export market of Pakistan, which itself forms 18% of total exports from Pakistan. This makes Faisalabad’s share of total exports from Pakistan more than 15%.
The district is unparalleled for its agricultural productivity. The area grew in importance as the grain belt of the Punjab during the wake of colonisation. This led to the economic development of towns and villages within the district. Faisalabad's major export crops include the Kharif crops which include maize, rice, sugarcane and bajra as well as the Rabi crops which include wheat, barley, gram and barseen. In addition to these, there are also Zaid Kharif and Zaid Rabi crops. Zaid Kharif crops are toria, raiya, sarsoon and Zaid Rabi crop is tobacco. The use of tractors is becoming popular and is fast replacing the conventional ploughs. Improved varieties of seeds, fertilisers and pesticides have greatly increased per-acre yield and with that the prosperity of the peasant community which has toiled for three generations to transform a barren land into verdant fields. The Faisalabad district is famous for its fruit production. Important fruits are oranges, bananas, apples, sugarcanes, tangerines, fruiter, mangos, guava and Faalsa. The total area under fruit orchards is 34,517 acres (13,969 ha). Establishment of a dry port at Gatti, a few kilometers away from the main city has greatly boosted economic activities in Faisalabad by facilitating direct imports and exports of goods and cargo.
The rise of the middle class as a result of economic boom in the past decade has led to the construction of major malls and shopping plazas amid investment from the United Arab Emirates as well as many European firms. Faisalabad has been called the "Manchester of Pakistan" because it has a major impact on the economy of Pakistan. The city also generates 25% revenue for the trade and commerce activity of Pakistan.