Economic indicators shows positive sign, signals growth

ISLAMABAD - Despite various ongoing challenges at different fronts, the major economic indicators are depicting positive signs towards sustainable growth, mainly owing to improvements in external trade, foreign exchange reserves and worker’s remittances.

The latest economic indicators also depict considerable growth in Large Scale Manufacturing (LSM) with single digit inflation rate, according to the latest data.

The production of the Large Scale Manufacturing (LSM) sector, which is one of the major indicator of economy, expanded 4.15 per cent during July-May (2013-2014) and 2.35 per cent in May 2014 compared to May 2013.

The products that contributed in positive growth included textile, output of which increased by 1.39 per cent, food, beverages and tobacco by 7.86 per cent, coke and petroleum products by 6.96 per cent, paper and board by 10.12 per cent and fertilizers by 17.67 per cent.

The other products that witnessed growth included electronics, production of which increased by 4.58 per cent whereas the production of iron and steel products increased by 5.87 per cent, leather products by

11.45 per cent, chemicals by 6.01 per cent, rubber products by 11.32 per cent and the production of non-metallic mineral products increased by 0.26 per cent.

External trade is also one of the most influencing indicators showing the performance of the economy and according to the latest data, the trade deficit narrowed by 2.48 per cent during the fiscal year 2013-2014 as exports expanded by 2.75 per cent while imports witnessed slight increase of 0.36 per cent as compared to the same period of last year.

The exports from the country during July-June (2013-2014) were recorded at $25.132 billion against the exports of $24.460 billion recorded during July-June 2012-13.

On the other hand, the imports into the country during the period under review were recorded at $40.777 billion against the imports of $41.011 billion during the corresponding period of the last year.

The country's foreign exchange reserves are also showing upward trends and the overall liquid foreign exchange reserves stood at $ 14.450 billion during the week that ended on July 18, according to the data of State Bank of Pakistan.

The foreign exchange reserves is concerned, during the week under review, the State Bank held $ 9.398 billion, according to SBP figures.

Meanwhile, the inflow of remittances from Pakistanis working in foreign countries has registered a commendable growth of 11.5 per cent during July-May (2013-14) against 6.4 per cent growth during the corresponding period of last year.

The remittances are likely to reach more than 14.895 billion during the first 11 months of the fiscal year 2013-2014 compared to $11.57 billion in 2012-2013, according to sources of Overseas Pakistani Foundation (OPF).

Consumer Price Index (CPI) based inflation remained single digit as it increased to 8.2 per cent on year-on-year basis in June 2014 as compared to 8.3 per cent in May 2014.

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Aaj Kal