Large-scale manufacturing expands 3.5pc

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ISLAMABAD: Large-scale manufacturing (LSM) grew by 3.5 per cent year-on-year during the 11 months (July-May) of the outgoing fiscal year, the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics said on Wednesday

However in May, LSM — which accounts for nearly three-fourths of all the industrial production — dropped by 1.5pc year-on-year, fuelling concerns that the government might not achieve the annual projected economic growth target for the outgoing fiscal year.

The production data of LSM received from the Oil Companies Advisory Committee (OCAC) comprising 11 items, the Ministry of Industries and Production (36 items) and provincial bureau of statistics (65 items) contributed negatively, showing fall of 1.36pc, 0.01pc and 0.11pc, respectively.

Industry-specific data shows that the negative growth in May was mainly driven by a fall of 97pc in wooden products, followed by a 21.7pc fall in production of petroleum products, 21.5pc in engineering products, 17.9pc in iron and steel products, 13pc in food and beverages, 5pc in rubber products and 0.05pc in textile products.

Other sectors that showed growth included non-metallic mineral products (13pc), paper and board (11.5pc), pharmaceuticals (7.6pc), fertilisers (7pc), leather products (7pc), chemicals (3.3pc), automobiles (1.4pc) and electronics (0.15pc).

Growth in the automobile sector was mainly driven by tractors production which increased by 14.3pc, trucks 8.5pc, buses 113pc, and motorcycles 11.4pc. However, the production of light commercial vehicle dropped by 41.3pc in May.

The improvement in the automobile sector was due to stable exchange rate, continuation of concessions under Apna Rozgar Scheme launched by the Punjab government, appetite for new models and focus of commercial banks on auto financing.

The petroleum products posted a negative growth of 19.4pc in May from a year ago, mainly driven by fall in almost all products except lubricating oil which grew by 7pc. All other products like production of liquefied petroleum gas, motor sprits, jet oil, etc witnessed negative growth.

The food, beverages and tobacco remained subdued during the month under review. The production of vegetable ghee fell by 2pc, cooking oil 4pc, wheat and grain milling 10.5pc, soft drinks 4.7pc and juices, syrups and squashes 5.7pc.
However, blended tea output grew 24pc and sugar by 5.6pc, respectively.

In the chemical sector, sulphuric acid recorded a negative growth of 26.7pc, paints and varnishes 8.41pc. However, production of caustic soda rose by 23pc on the back of the start of commercial operation by a caustic soda producing unit.

Despite dismal performance of most sectors, a few sectors maintained growth momentum in May.

In the pharmaceuticals group, capsules, injections, liquids/syrups and tablets recorded a growth of 18.5pc, 17.8pc and 13pc, respectively.

In non-metallic mineral products, cement output managed to grow by 13pc year-on-year in May. A steep fall in global coal prices helped cement manufacturers. In addition, the cement industry also benefitted through vibrant construction activities and reduction in policy rate.

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