Salman Khan
Salman Khan

ISLAMABAD: Large-scale manufacturing (LSM) in October grew 6.66 per cent on the back of higher automobile and cement production in the country, data released by the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS) showed on Tuesday.

Since July, the LSM has rebounded after suffering months of downturn on account of Covid-19 mainly in the construction, textile, food, chemicals, non-metallic mineral products, automobile and pharmaceutical sectors. The uptick during last four months reflects a revival in economic activities in the country.

On a month-on-month basis, the LSM grew by 3.95pc.

“[The] LSM grew by 5.46pc in Jul-Oct period. At a time when the global economy is in a deep recession, industry is driving economic growth and recovery in Pakistan,” said Minister for Industries and Production Hammad Azhar in a tweet.

In addition, Planning Minister Asad Umar said also that “industrial growth accelerates as economic recovery gathers pace.”

The PBS snapshot of the manufacturing activity showed that nine out of 15 sub-sectors in the LSM rose during the month under review. Low interest rates and reduction in duties on raw materials are expected to further spur economic activities in the current fiscal year.

Sector wise, production of 11 items under the Oil Companies Advisory Committee dipped by 1.67pc year-on-year during October. The 36 items under the Ministry of Industries and Production rose by 8.87pc, while 65 reported by the provincial Bureaus of Statistics grew 3.43pc.

The LSM represents nearly 80pc of the country’s total manufacturing and accounts for nearly 10.7pc of the national output. In comparison, the small-scale industry makes up for just 1.8pc of GDP and 13.7pc of the secondary sector.

As per the PBS data, subsectors within the automobile sector posted massive growth in October from a year ago. Production of tractors rose by 2.24pc, jeep and cars 20.62pc, LCVs 8.05pc and motorcycles 8.02pc during the month under review. The production of trucks dipped 20.95pc and buses 30pc.

The cement output also grew 25.09pc during the month under review on the back of greater demand following the start of construction activities and increase in exports from the country. The production of paints and varnishes was up 12.15pc.

On the other hand, cigarettes production dipped by 6.04pc year-on-year in October.

In pharmaceutical, the output of syrups rose by 27.36pc, injection 36.02pc, and capsules 53.33pc. The output of ointments dipped 24.27pc, and tables 9.83pc, respectively.

On the other hand, tea, cooking oil, and wheat and grain milling output grew 1.44pc, 4.45pc and 108pc respectively. The production of these sectors rebounded in October after negative growth in the previous months. The production of vegetable ghee inched down by 0.64pc during the month under review.

The data for October showed that output of petroleum products dipped by 1.67pc. The output of two oil products — petrol and high speed diesel was up 9.41pc and 2.47pc, respectively whereas LPG production increased by 8.88pc during the month under review.

The production of furnace oil, jet (airline) fuel, lubricating oil, jute batching oil, and solvent naphtha also fell during the month under review.

At the same time, production of electronic goods contracted except refrigerator, electric bulk, switch gears, electric transformers, and storage batteries.

Published in Dawn, December 16th, 2020

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