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January 25, 2021

As COVID-19 effects ebb: Economy on upward trajectory

Top Story

January 25, 2021

ISLAMABAD: The government’s top guns claim that economy is on the upward trajectory, as many economic indicators are witnessing positive vibes after facing severe blow in the aftermath of COVID-19 pandemic.

In background discussions, the government top guns take stance that economic activities have kick-started, as the Large Scale Manufacturing (LSM) has achieved significant growth so far in the current fiscal year.

Federal Minister for Planning Asad Umar tweeted last week stating that there was excellent news of large scale manufacturing growth numbers for November. “The July-Nov LSM growth is now 7.4 percent and for November it is 14.5 percent versus November 2019. The industrial growth is accelerating.”

“The LSM growth of 14.5 percent year on year basis is the highest LSM growth in any month in last 12 years” he added.

With this growth momentum, it has reached close to the point where the economy stood at by end of 2017-18, however, it made good progress after witnessing depressing results in theaftermath of COVID-19 pandemic when the LSM growth had contracted negative over 10 percent by end of the last fiscal year.

The higher LSM growth has helped achieving exportable surplus and exports went up by $2.37 billion in December 2020, highest in seven years. Textile exports went up by $1.4 billion in December 2020 thus achieving highest ever growth for any month. The cement sale witnessed highest ever sale in October 2020.

The remittances fetched over $2 billion in last seven consecutive months rescuing economy from facing any severe blow on external economic front. The State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) reserves stood at over $13 billion highest ever since January 2018.

The current account balance turned into surplus for the first five months but it turned into negative $662 million for December 2020 owing to higher imports demand. Pakistan’s ranking on account of ease of doing business improved since 2013.

The country’s primary balance turned into surplus first time because of improved expenditure management. The spending on social safety nets through Ehsaas program doubled under the PTI-led government. The external debt witnessed lowest rise in the last five years period as debt suspension from G-20 countries helped Islamabad after outbreak of COVID-19 Pandemic.