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Economy grows, indicators show positive signs

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 workers remittances.
The latest economic indicators depict considerable growth in Large Scale Manufacturing (LSM) with single digit inflation rate, according to latest data.
The production of the LSM sector, which is one of the major indicator of economy, expanded 4.15 percent during July-May 2013-14 and 2.35 percent in May 2014 compared to May 2013.
The products contributed in positive growth included textile, output of which increased by 1.39 percent, food, beverages and tobacco by 7.86 percent, coke and petroleum products by 6.96 percent, paper and board by 10.12 percent and fertilizers by 17.67 percent.
The other products witnessed growth include electronics, production of which increased by 4.58 percent whereas the production of iron and steel products increased by 5.87 percent, leather products by 11.45 percent, chemicals by 6.01 percent, rubber products by 11.32 percent and the production of non-metallic mineral products increased by 0.26 percent.
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 percent during the fiscal year 2013-14 as exports expanded by 2.75 percent while imports witnessing slight increase of 0.36 percent as compared to the same period of last year.
The exports from the country during July-June 2013-14 were recorded at $25.132 billion against the exports of $24.460 billion recorded during July-June 2012-13.
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 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 percent during July-May 2013-14 against 6.4 percent growth during corresponding period of last year.
The remittances reached more than $14.895 billion during the first 11 months of the fiscal year 2013-14 compared to $11.57 billion in 2012-13, according to sources of Overseas Pakistani Foundation.
Consumer Price Index based inflation remained single digit as it increased to 8.2 percent on year-on-year basis in June 2014 as compared to 8.3 percent in May 2014.

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