Source: PBS
Source: PBS

ISLAMABAD: Large-scale manufacturing (LSM) grew by 9.13 per cent in January, the second-highest monthly expansion in the current fiscal year (FY21), data released by the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS) showed on Tuesday.

The growth level entered a single digit in January after double-digit growth in the previous two months — December and November — on the back of higher automobile, cement products, and one-time sugar output, reflecting the revival of industrialisation.

On a month-on-month basis, LSM index was up by 5.36pc in January.

In December and November, LSM grew by 11.4pc and 14.5pc on a year-on-year basis. During July-January 2020-21 (7MFY21), LSM grew by 7.85pc.

Minister for Industries Hammad Azhar took to Twitter to say the sustained and robust growth in the industry is expected to lift economic growth beyond earlier forecasts.

Since July, LSM has rebounded after suffering months of a downturn on account of Covid-19 mainly in the construction, textile, food, chemicals, non-metallic mineral products, automobile and pharmaceutical sectors. The uptick during 7MFY21 reflects revival in economic activities.

The PBS snapshot of the manufacturing activity showed that nine out of 15 sub-sectors in 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 was up by 2.33pc year-on-year during January. The 36 items under the Ministry of Industries and Production rose by 6.56pc, while 65 items reported by the provincial statistics bureaus dipped 5.41pc.

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, sub-sectors excluding trucks within the automobile sector posted massive growth in January from a year ago. Production of tractors rose by 428.7pc, buses 34.21pc, jeep and cars 27.38pc, LCVs 86.95pc, and motorcycles 4.38pc during the month under review. The production of trucks dipped 46.29pc.

Cement output also grew 38.10pc 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 21.58pc. Sugar production is up by 24.96pc in January from a year ago due to the start of the sugar crushing season. The government has already announced that sugar crushing has come to an end.

In pharmaceuticals, the output of syrups rose by 17.61pc, injection 27.60pc, and capsules 40.99pc. The output of tablets dipped 7.6pc, and ointments 12.56pc, respectively.

On the other hand, vegetable ghee, and cooking oil production dipped by 4.30pc and 6.41pc, respectively. The production of tea was dipped by 4.72pc while the out of wheat and grain milling grew 15.90pc.

Published in Dawn, March 17th, 2021

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