Large-scale industry output climbs 10.46pc
By Our Staff Reporter | 5/18/2017 12:00:00 AM
ISLAMABAD: Large-scale manufacturing (LSM) grew 10.46 per cent in March on a year-on-year basis, the highest growth recorded in the last few years.

March was the third month in 2016-17 that witnessed healthy LSM growth. Over 8pc growth was recorded in February and November each.

Experts interpret it as the beginning of a revival in the industrial production.

With higher-than-expected growth in LSM, the government is likely to achieve the revised GDP growth target of 5.2pc for 2016-17.

In July-March, LSM grew 5.06pc from a year ago, according to data released by the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS) on Wednesday.

The production data of 36 items received from the Ministry of Industries and Production and that of 65 items received from the provincial bureaus of statistics showed their contribution to overall LSM growth was 3.97pc and 1.07pc, respectively.

However, the production data of 11 items received from the Oil Companies Advisory Committee (OCAC) showed their contribution to LSM growth was only 0.03pc in March.

In the last Escal year, industrial growth started accelerating November 2015 onwards and reached the peak of 7.64pc in March 2016.

Industry-specific data shows the automobile sector recorded the highest growth of 20.97pc, followed by food,beverages and tobacco20.80pc, iron and steel 19.52pc, fertilisers 10pc, pharmaceuticals 7.79pc, nonmetallic mineral products 7.12pc, wood products 4.14pc, chemicals 3.23pc, rubber products 1.65pc, and paper and board 0.12pc.

Engineering goods showed adecline of 5.13pc, electronic products 0.29pc, coke and petroleum products 2.36pcandleatherproducts 4.25pc.

The LSM sector also benefitted from the continued improvement in the supply of electricity and gas coupled with the expansion in credit to the private sector.

The expansion in credit to the private sector remained high due to low interest rates and better market conditions.

Another welcome development was the rise in the net credit disbursement for fixed investment.

In the automobile sector, growth of 48.43pc was generated by tractors, followed by jeeps and cars 21.32pc, motorcycles 21.35pc, trucks 14.26pc and buses 9.76pc.

However, the production of light commercial vehicles (LCVs) fell 2.95pc in March year-on-year.

In the chemical sector, caustic soda was the only segment that posted growth. Its annual increase remained 4.39pc. The production of sulphuric acid posted growth of 3.12pc while that of paints and varnishes declined 0.75pc.

In the pharmaceutical group, capsules, injections, liquids/syrups and tablets recorded growth of 0.02pc, 22.34pc, 2.38pc and 9.49pc, respectively.

In non-metallic mineral products, cement managed to grow 7.10pc in March over the preceding year. The steep fall in global coal prices helped cement manufacturers record yearon-year growth.

In addition, the cement industry also benefitted from vibrant construction activities and a reduction in the policy rate.

The production of coke and petroleum products went down mainly because of a decline in all products, except motor spirit.

The production of vegetable ghee witnessed growth of 0.14pc, cooking oil 3.86pc and tea blended 6.84pc.