ISLAMABAD - Pakistan’s large-scale manufacturing (LSM) posted a handsome growth of over 7 percent in December 2016 over the corresponding period of the previous year.

The healthy growth in LSM sector can enable the government to achieve the GDP’s growth target of 5.7 percent during the ongoing financial year.

The higher-than-expected growth recorded in the LSM sector in November and December is attributed to improvement in the power and gas supplies to industries.

Similarly, the expansion in credit to the private sector is another reason for higher growth in this sector.

According to the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS), LSM grew by only 3.9 percent during first half (July-December) of the ongoing financial year. For the fiscal year 2016-17, the government had targeted LSM growth at 5.9 percent.

The PBS computes the quantum index numbers of the LSM on the basis of latest production data of 112 items received from various sources, including the OCAC, Ministry of Industries and Production and provincial bureau of statistics.

LSM data, provided by the Ministry of Industries and Production for 36 items, showed growth of 2.99 percent during the quarter under review.

Similarly, the data provided by the provincial bureaus of statistics for 65 items showed growth of 0.93 percent over the same period.

However, the output of 11 items whose data is provided by the Oil Companies Advisory Committee fell 0.02 percent during July-December period.

The main drivers of the LSM sector's growth during the period under review were: paper and board that recorded growth of 5.69 percent iron and steel with growth rate of 15.65 percent, non-metallic mineral products with growth of 9.31 percent, pharmaceutical 7.9 percent, rubber products 0.45 percent, electronics 14.35 percent, automobiles 6.67 percent and fertilisers recorded growth of 3.47 percent.

The sectors, whose output declined, included wood production that plunged by 96.41 percent and engineering sector that dropped by 4.63 percent.

Similarly, chemicals industries registered a negative growth of 2.7 percent, Coke & Petroleum Products Coke & Petroleum Products 1.33 percent and leather products recorded a negative growth of 18.93 percent during first half of the ongoing financial year.

The automobile sector witnessed growth due to 63.63 percent increase in truck production, 63.32 percent increase in tractors production, 34.07 percent increase in the production of buses and 19.74 percent increase in the production of motorcycles.

However, the production of light commercial vehicles (LCVs) dipped by 41.43 percent and jeeps and cars dropped by 2.72 percent.

In the case of electrical appliances, production of refrigerators jumped by 25.01 percent, deep freezers’ production upped by 54.41 percent, that of electric-bulbs by 21.75 percent, production of storage batteries went up by 15.11 percent and electric meters production enhanced by 16.25 percent.

However, the production of air-conditioners declined by 21.01 percent, switchgears by 9.83 percent and production of electric transformers went down by 4.42 percent during the period under review. Meanwhile, manufacturing of cigarettes went down by 30.97 percent, that of jute goods by 38.64 percent, hessian 30.97 percent and phosphorus fertilisers 0.49 percent.