ISLAMABAD - Large scale manufacturing (LSM) sector recorded healthy growth of 6.75 percent in March 2016 over the corresponding month of the previous year.

Meanwhile, the LSM sector posted growth of 4.7 percent during nine months (July-March) of the ongoing financial year 2015-2016 as against the same period of the last year, according to the latest data of Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS) released on Tuesday. The LSM growth is the highest in the last 8 years.

The handsome growth in LSM sector would push the country’s GDP to around 5 percent during outgoing fiscal year. For ongoing fiscal year, the government is aiming at 6 percent growth for the large scale-manufacturing sector, which accounts for 70 percent of industrial production.

The main driver of the LSM sector was automobiles sector, which has the highest value in LSM growth, going up by 23.43 percent during July-March period of the year 2015-16. The fertilizer sector’s growth was up by 15.92pc; chemicals industry’s growth surged by 10.01pc, coke and petroleum products 2.4pc, pharmaceuticals 7.21pc, non-metallic mineral products 10.23pc, rubber products 11.68pc and textile sector recorded growth of 0.62 percent during July-March period of the year 2015-16.

Food, beverages and tobacco showed growth of 3.66 percent and leather products 12.18pc.The sectors, which witnessed negative growths, included wood production that plunged by 58.03 percent, paper and board that declined 2.9pc, engineering sector that dropped 17.64pc and electronics that plummeted 9.98 percent during the period under review.

In automobile sector, trucks production went up by 41.68 percent, buses 81.95pc, cars and jeeps 29.7pc and LCVs (light commercial vehicles) by 68.53pc. Production of motorcycles increased by 17.22pc during July-March period. However, tractors production fell by 38.63pc.

In electronics products, production of air-conditioners increased by 18.4pc, switch gears 24.01pc and storage batteries 0.43pc. However, the production of refrigerators declined by 3.52pc, electric-bulbs by 13pc, fans 16.3pc, motors 18.35pc, meters 28.46, and bicycles production went down by 8.7pc during the period under review.

Meanwhile, in ministry of industries and production, cement sector recorded growth of 10.41 percent, phosphorus fertilizers 12.95pc, nit fertilizers 16.31pc, caustic soda 26.85pc, cotton cloth 1.54pc and cotton yarn 0.43 percent.

However, following sectors registered negative growth during period under review: cigarettes 8.33 percent, sugar 2.85pc, jute goods 36.65 percent and paper and board 2.9 percent.

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.