ISLAMABAD -  Large-scale manufacturing (LSM) sector recorded higher-than-expected growth of 11.3 percent in first couple of months (July-August) of ongoing fiscal year over a year ago.

The LSM, which constitutes 80 percent share within manufacturing and 10.7pc in overall GDP, recorded handsome growth due to continued improvement in the supply of electricity and gas and expansion in credit to the private sector. The government could achieve the 6 percent economic growth target set for the current fiscal year if LSM sector continues to record robust growth.

The government had projected LSM growth target at 6.3 percent for the ongoing financial year 2017-18. According to Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS), the LSM sector registered 8.54 percent growth during the month of August as compared to the same month of last year. 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 8.12 percent during July-August of the year 2017-18 over a year ago. Similarly, the data provided by the Provincial Bureaus of Statistics for 65 items showed growth of 2.09 percent over the same period. The output of 11 items, whose data is provided by the Oil Companies Advisory Committee, increased by 1.09 percent during the period under review.

The main drivers of the LSM sector's growth during the period under review were; iron and steel that recorded 49.6 percent, automobile 30.8pc, non-metallic mineral products 19.6pc, wood products 18.4pc, engineering products 18.35pc and coke & petroleum products that recorded growth of 16.3 percent during July-August period of the current financial year over a year ago. Similarly, textile, food, beverages & tobacco, pharmaceuticals, chemicals, electronics, paper & board and rubber products also registered growth during period under review.

On the other hand, only fertilizer industry recorded negative growth of 0.31 percent during July-August of the 2017-18.

The automobile sector witnessed growth due to 114.9 percent increase in tractors production, 28.3 percent increase in trucks production, 33.5 percent rise in jeeps and cars production and 28.2 percent surge in motorcycles production, during July-August period of the year 2017-18. However, the production of buses dipped by 21.3 percent.

In the case of electrical appliances, production of deep freezers jumped by 16.2 percent, air-conditioners production upped by 26.8 percent, that of electric-fans by 22.4 percent, production of electric motors went up by 17.3 percent and electric meters production enhanced by 18.3 percent. Similarly, production of switchgears went up by 20.8 percent, production of storage batteries by 9.8 percent and TV sets production enhanced by 0.9 percent during the period under review. However, the production of electric bulbs declined by 20.1 percent.

In non-metallic mineral products, cement grew by 19.98 percent in July-August compared to a year ago.