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LSM contracts 10.2pc in December

February 16, 2019

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ISLAMABAD: The large-scale manufacturing (LSM) sector shrank 10.2 per cent during Dec 2018 from a year ago, the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS) reported on Friday.

It was attributed to dismal performance of pharmaceuticals, petroleum products, steel and electronic products sending fears of lay-offs in the industrial sector.

The LSM decrease in December came on the back of 12.8pc decline in production of leather products, 10.54pc petroleum products, 9.46pc food products, 3.02pc fertilisers, and 28.42pc wood production.

The electronics production was up by 154.6pc, iron and steel production 22.5pc, paper and board 10.35pc, automobiles 9.15pc, non-metallic mineral products 5.89pc, chemicals 5.53pc, rubber products 11.53pc, textile 0.43pc and engineering products 4.56pc.

On a year-on-year basis, the LSM dipped by 1.53pc during the first half of this fiscal year —so far in negative and far behind the target of 8.1pc set for 2018-19.

Sector-wise, production data of 11 items from Oil Companies Advisory Committee registered a negative growth of 0.37pc whereas 36 items received from the Ministry of Industries and Production and 65 items by provincial bureaus of statistics declined by 7.06pc and 2.76pc, respectively.

Industrial sector is targeted to grow by 7.6pc during 2018-19. Manufacturing sector is targeted to expand by 7.8p, small scale & household manufacturing 8.2pc, construction 10pc and electricity generation & distribution and gas distribution by 7.5pc.

The industrial sector was expected to get boost from improved energy supply, public sector expenditure and the mega-initiatives under the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor to develop infrastructure, energy resources, roads, railways and bridges.

LSM constitutes 80pc of manufacturing and 10.7pc of the overall GDP. In comparison, small-scale manufacturing accounts for just 1.8pc of GDP and 13.7pc in manufacturing.

Pharmaceutical — up 7.65pc year-on-year during December — grew mainly due to a 1.68pc increase in the production of syrups. However, tablets, capsules and injections went down by 0.74pc, 88.4pc, and 48.3pc, respectively.

In the non-metallic mineral products, cement dipped 6.74pc in December over same month last year while among autos, tractor production plunged 65.22pc, light commercial vehicles 36.14pc, trucks 27.04pc, jeeps and cars 23.31pc and motorcycles shrank by 16.58pc during the period under review. However, buses production soared 117.65pc.

Published in Dawn, February 16th, 2019