Pakistan’s large scale manufacturing sector posted handsome growth of 5 percent in January over a year ago.

The growth in the LSM sector, which accounts for 70 percent of country’s industrial production, is continuously recording healthy growth for the past few months. The sector recorded 4.12 percent growth during July to January period of the financial year 2015-2016 as against the corresponding period of the previous year, according to the data of Pakistan Bureau of Statistics released on Monday.

The government had estimated LSM growth at 6 percent for the year 2015-16. The State Bank of Pakistan in its latest Monetary Policy attributed the higher LSM growth due to monetary policy easing, falling international prices of key inputs, better energy situation, increased domestic demand for consumer durables, and expansion of construction activities. The analysts believed that Pakistan’s GDP growth could go up to 4.5 to 5 percent during ongoing financial year on the back of continued expansion in large scale manufacturing, construction and the service sectors.

One of the main drivers of the LSM sector growth was automobiles sector that posted 31.4 percent growth. The fertilizer sector’s growth was up by 14.6pc; chemicals industry’s growth surged by 11.44pc, coke and petroleum products 4.85pc percent, pharmaceuticals 6.65pc, non metallic mineral products 7.65 percent, rubber products 9.83 percent, and textile sector recorded growth of 0.95 percent during July-January period.

The sectors, which witnessed negative growth, included wood production that plunged by 47.65 percent, paper and board that declined 12.51pc, engineering sector that dropped by 19.76pc, leather products 2.64pc and electronics that plummeted 6.84 percent.

The automobile sector flourished. Trucks production went up by 34.94pc, buses 68.34pc, cars and jeeps 43.02pc and LCVs (light commercial vehicles) by 137.4pc. Production of motorcycles increased by 18.12pc during July-January. However, tractors production fell by 46.94pc.

In electronics products, production of deep freezers increased by 27.24pc, air-conditioners 19.75pc, switch gears 30.84pc and storage batteries 3.34pc. However, the production of refrigerators declined by 3.13pc, electric-bulbs by 18.80pc, fans 2.25pc, motors 15.86pc, meters 18.22, electric transformers by 9.09pc and bicycle production down by 12.9pc during the period under review.

Meanwhile, cement sector recorded growth of 7.63 percent, phosphorus fertilizers 12.15 percent, nit fertilizers 14.92 percent, caustic soda 28.67 percent, cotton cloth 0.56 percent and cotton yarn 1.8 percent. However, following sectors registered negative growth: cigarettes 9.07 percent, jute goods 27.72 percent and paper and board 12.51 percent during period under review.

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