ISLAMABAD: The large-scale manufacturing (LSM) grew 8.6 per cent year-on-year in February, the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS) reported on Friday.

The industrial output rebounded in January and posted a growth of 8.2pc, which slightly further went up in the following month. The trends show that LSM will keep the growth momentum in March as well when figures are finalised.

The production estimation for large-scale manufacturing industries was made on new base year of 2015-16. However, the PBS also released a separate estimation on the old base of 2005-06.

As per the old base 2005-06, the LSM grew by 8.4pc in February from a year ago. The calculations in both estimations show an upward trend as LSM entered a negative growth of 0.1pc in October 2021. It revived to a partial growth of 0.7pc in November 2021 and 3.9pc in December 2021 as per the old base.

The lowest positive growth in LSM was noted in September 2021 at 1.19pc, which fell from 12.74pc in August 2021. The second-lowest LSM expansion was observed in July at 2.25pc. The current financial year started with a paltry growth in LSM.

On a month-on-month basis, the big industry production increased by 0.3pc.

In the first eight months (July-February) of the current financial year, LSM grew by 7.8pc on a year-on-year basis as per the new base. However, the growth is calculated at 4.6pc in the eight months on the basis of the old base-2005-06.

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

The PBS snapshot of manufacturing activity showed that four out of 15 sub-sectors in the LSM dipped in February. High-interest rates and depreciation of the rupee will increase the cost of raw materials further and economic activities are expected to slightly slow down during the current financial year.

Production of 11 items under the Oil Companies Advisory Committee increased by 6.8pc year-on-year in February. The 36 items under the Ministry of Industries and Production surged by 10.1pc, while 65 items reported by the provincial bureaus of statistics increased by 7pc.

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 sectoral share.

As per the PBS data, the entire automobile sector, excluding motorcycles, showed strong growth in February compared to the same period a year ago. Production of tractors surged by 12.8pc, trucks by 99.7pc, jeep by 44.3pc, cars by 61.7pc, LCVs by 52.9pc. No growth was reported in the production of buses during the month under review.

The production of motorcycles dipped by 2.2pc, while that of cycles increased by 99.3pc.

In the non-metallic mineral sector, the production of cement output dipped by 3pc in February 2022. However, the production of glass plates and sheets was up by 58.9pc. In the steel sector, billets and ingots posted a growth of 34.7pc.

The production of phosphate fertilisers rose 9.4pc in February and nitrogen fertilisers 0.5pc, respectively.

In pharmaceuticals, the output of tablets fell by 28.2pc, injection by 38.3pc and capsules by 42.2pc. However, the output of syrups is up by 63.4pc and ointment 3.7pc, respectively.

On the other hand, cooking oil production posted a positive growth of 8.5pc, tea blended increased by 13.2pc in February from a year ago, while wheat and grain milling output declined by 1.6pc.

The output of a few petroleum products posted growth in February. The output of petrol fell by 0.5pc and that of high-speed diesel by 1.3pc, whereas furnace oil production dipped by 8.7pc. The production of LPG is up by 4pc, kerosene 22pc, lubricating oil 14.9pc, and jet fuel oil 27.5pc, respectively.

In February the sectoral growth shows that food manufacturing posted growth of 3.3pc, beverages 1.7pc, tobacco 19.6pc, textile 2.9pc, garments 20.6pc, leather products 3.1pc, wood products 174pc, paper and board 8pc, chemicals 7.1pc, non-metalic min 0.6pc, iron and steel 17.3pc, and machinery and equipment 12.4pc.

Published in Dawn, April 16th, 2022

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