ISLAMABAD: Large-scale manufacturing (LSM) posted paltry growth of 0.30 per cent in November on a year-on-year basis, data released by the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS) showed on Friday.

The LSM recorded negative growth of 1.19pc in October. The slight improvement shows a revival in large industries. The PBS has rebased the index for the manufacturing sector to 2016-17, but the estimation for November was still made on the old base of 2005-06.

The lowest positive growth in the LSM was witnessed in September 2021 at 1.19pc after it clocked in at 12.74pc in August. The second-lowest LSM expansion took place in July at 2.25pc.

On a month-on-month basis, big industry production increased 1.91pc. In the first five months (July-November) of the current fiscal year, the LSM grew 3.26pc on a year-on-year basis.

During the previous fiscal year, the LSM showed the highest growth of 14.85pc. The government claimed at the time that the slump in industrial production had come to an end.

Since July 2020, the LSM has rebounded after months-long downturn on account of Covid-19, mainly in the automobile, construction, textile, food, chemical, non-metallic mineral products and pharmaceutical sectors.

The PBS snapshot of manufacturing activity showed that seven of the 15 sub-sectors in the LSM dipped in November. High interest rates and depreciation of the rupee will increase the cost of raw materials further as economic activity is expected to slow down in the current fiscal year.

The production of 11 items under the Oil Companies Advisory Committee dipped 5.5pc year-on-year in November. The production of 36 items under the Ministry of Industries and Production surged 3.51pc while 65 items reported by the provincial bureaus of statistics fell 6.35pc.

The LSM at 9.73pc of GDP dominates the overall manufacturing sector, accounting for 76.1pc of the sectoral share. It is followed by small-scale manufacturing, which accounts for 2.12pc of GDP and 16.6pc of the sectoral share.

Published in Dawn, January 22nd, 2022

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