ISLAMABAD: In the first month of the PML-N-led coalition government, the Large-Scale Manufacturing (LSM) shrank month-on-month by 13.3 per cent in April, the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS) reported on Thursday.

The big industry posted a robust growth of 26.6pc in March, the last month of the PTI government. However, the LSM grew year-on-year 15.4pc in April.The production estimation for LSM industries was made on the new base year of 2015-16. However, the PBS also released a separate estimation with old base of 2005-06.

As per the old base 2005-06, the LSM grew by 5.3pc in April compared to a year ago. On a month-on-month basis, the industry’s production declined by 22.8pc. The calculations in both estimations show a downward trend as LSM entered a negative growth on a month-on-month basis.

In the first 10 months (July-April) of the current financial year, LSM grew by 10.7pc on a year-on-year basis as per the new base. However, the growth is calculated at 6.7pc in the 10 months on the basis of the old base-2005-06.The PBS snapshot of manufacturing activity showed that seven out of 15 sub-sectors in the LSM dipped in April. High-interest rates and depreciation of the rupee have increased the cost of raw materials further, and economic activity is expected to slightly slow down during the current financial year.

Production expands 10.7pc year-on-year in 10MFY22

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 LCVs and trucks, showed strong growth in April compared to the same period a year ago. Production of tractors surged by 17.3pc, Jeep 66.5pc and Jeeps 29.5pc, respectively.

The production of buses rose by 33.3pc, and diesel engines 139pc. However, the production of LCVs dipped by 4.5pc and LCVs by 64.4pc. The production of motorcycles dipped by 11.7pc, while bicycles increased by 49.2pc.

In the non-metallic mineral sector, the production of cement output dipped by 20.5pc in April. The production of glass plates and sheets, on the other hand, increased by 147.3pc. In the steel industry, billets and ingots increased by 28pc.

The production of phosphate fertilisers rose 2.1pc in April and nitrogen fertilisers 4.2pc, respectively.

In pharmaceuticals, the output of tablets fell by 14.7pc, injections by 43.1pc and capsules by 57.6pc. However, the output of syrups is up by 77.7pc and ointments by 13pc, respectively.

On the other hand, cooking oil production posted a positive growth of 22.6pc in April from a year ago. However, tea blended fell by 9.9pc in April from a year ago, while wheat and grain milling output declined by 3.1pc.

The output of a few petroleum products posted a negative growth in April. The output of all products excluding jet fuel oil, diesel and lubricating oil posted a negative growth during the month under review.

Published in Dawn,June 17th, 2022

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