ISLAMABAD  -  The country missed the growth target for large-scale manufacturing (LSM) during previous fiscal year (FY2018) by wide margin, indicating that government may also miss the overall economic growth target.

The LSM growth recorded growth of 5.38 percent during FY2018 as against the target of 6.3 percent. Missing the growth target of LSM’s production had created fear that country’s overall economic growth may hardly reach 5.8 percent, which was projected at the eve of last budget. The government, in economic survey FY2018 that was framed on eight months data, had estimated LSM growth at 6.25 percent. However, according to the latest data of Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS), LSM had recorded growth of 5.38 percent during FY2018.  Therefore, the country may miss the economic growth target projected for the outgoing fiscal year.

Industrial sector is expected to grow by 5.8 percent during current fiscal year 2018-19, primarily because of vibrant construction activity and notable improvement in large-scale manufacturing.

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 Oil Companies Advisory Committee (OCAC), Ministry of Industries and Production and provincial Bureau of Statistics.

The LSM data, provided by the Ministry of Industries and Production for 36 items, showed growth of 3.42 percent during the year 2017-18 over a preceding year. Similarly, the data provided by the provincial Bureaus of Statistics for 65 items showed growth of 1.17 percent over the same period. The output of 11 items, whose data is provided by the Oil Companies Advisory Committee, increased by 0.79 percent during the period under review.

As far as the main drivers of the LSM sector's growth during the period under review are concerned, electronics sector recorded growth of 32.43 percent, followed by iron and steel that recorded 21.78 percent growth. Similarly, automobile sector grew by 17.82 percent and coke and petroleum production increased by 13.24 percent during the last financial year over a year ago. Meanwhile, textile, food, beverages and tobacco, pharmaceuticals, paper and board and rubber products also registered growth during period under review.

On the other hand, fertilizer industry recorded negative growth of 9.88 percent, leather products 0.19 percent, wood products 37.75 percent and chemicals recorded negative growth of 0.23 percent during fiscal year 2017-18.

In the automobile sector, the production of tractors went up by 33.2 percent year-on-year during, jeeps and cars 21.35pc, light commercial vehicles 19.74pc, trucks 19.13pc and motorcycles 12.97pc. However, the manufacturing of buses dropped 29.37pc during the period under review. The negative growth in the chemical sector was mainly driven by paints and varnishes-small, which recorded an increase of 2.41pc whereas caustic soda went up by 20.67pc.

In non-metallic mineral products, cement posted a growth of 11.14 percent. In the food, beverages and tobacco segment, an increase of 9.32pc was recorded in cooking oil production. Other items that witnessed a positive growth were tea blended, higher by 1.17pc and wheat & grain milling 1.03pc. However, the production of sugar dipped 6.85pc during the period under review.