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Weekly SPI Decreases by 0.42 Percent

June 05, 2020 (MLN): The Weekly Sensitive Price Indicator (SPI) for the Combined Group decreased by 0.42% during the week ended Jun 04, 2020 while the SPI increased by 9.17% compared to the corresponding period from last year.

According to data released by the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS) the Combined Index was at 127.78 compared to 128.32 on May 28, 2020 while the index was recorded at 117.05 a year ago, on Jun 06, 2019

Out of the 51 monitored items, the average price of 15 items increased, 12 items decreased whereas 24 items registered no change during the week.

The weekly SPI percentage change by income groups showed a mixed trend with SPI ranging between -0.67% and 0.07%.

The Lowest Income Group witnessed a weekly increase of 0.07% while the highest income group recorded a decrease of 0.67%.

On an yearly basis, analysis of SPI change across different income segments showed that SPI increased across all quantiles ranging between 7.3% and 13.38%.

Yearly SPI for the Lowest Income Group increased by 11.16% while the highest income group recorded an increase of 7.3%.

The average price of Sona urea stood at Rs.1637 per 50 kg bag which is 1.09% lower than last week’s price and 11.47% lower when compared to last year.

Meanwhile, average Cement price was recorded at Rs.553 per 50 kg bag, which is 0.54% lower than the previous week and 2.79% higher than prices last year.

 

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Wall Street jumps after surprise job additions in May

June 05, 2020: U.S. stock indexes jumped on Friday, with the Nasdaq Composite less than 1% away from a record high, after a closely watched report showed surprise job additions in May, lending weight to hopes of a faster economic rebound from a coronavirus-led slump.

Data from the Labor Department showed nonfarm payrolls rose by 2.509 million jobs last month after a record plunge of 20.687 million in April, and the unemployment rate unexpectedly fell to 13.3% in May from 14.7% in April.

"It's shocking, it's a refreshing thing to experience, a very positive and a far better-than-expected report," said Randy Frederick, vice president of trading and derivatives for Charles Schwab in Austin, Texas.

"The unemployment rate was likely to peak in May and then get better from there, but it looks as though it might have peaked in April, which is a very positive development for the economy."

The S&P 500 banks sub-index, considered interest-rate sensitive, jumped 4.8% as U.S. Treasury yields rose after the data.

Boeing Co gained 9.2%, the biggest boost to the Dow Jones index, on hopes of a pickup in air travel a day after American Airlines Group Inc and United Airlines said they would boost their U.S. flight schedule next month.

Reuters

U.S. labor market unexpectedly improves in May

June 05, 2020: The U.S. economy unexpectedly added jobs in May after suffering record losses in the prior month, offering the clearest signal yet that the downturn triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic was probably over, though the road to recovery could be long.

The Labor Department's closely watched employment report on Friday also showed the jobless rate falling to 13.3% last month from 14.7% in April, a post World War Two high. It came on the heels of surveys showing consumer confidence, manufacturing and services industries stabilizing.

Economic conditions have significantly improved as businesses reopened after shuttering in mid-March to slow the spread of COVID-19.

Nonfarm payrolls rose by 2.509 million jobs last month after a record plunge of 20.687 million in April. Economists polled by Reuters had forecast the unemployment rate jumping to 19.8% in May and payrolls falling by 8 million jobs.

U.S. stock index futures sharply extended gains. The dollar rose against a basket of currencies. U.S. Treasury prices fell.

"These improvements in the labor market reflected a limited resumption of economic activity that had been curtailed in March and April due to the coronavirus pandemic and efforts to contain it," The Labor Department said in a statement.

Reuters

ADB and Pakistan sign an agreement for $300 million...

June 5, 2020: The Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the Government of Pakistan today signed the loan agreement for a $300 million emergency assistance loan initially approved by the bank on 19 May.

The Secretary of the Economic Affairs Division Noor Ahmed and ADB Country Director for Pakistan Xiaohong Yang signed the agreement on the loan, which will strengthen Pakistan’s public health response to the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic and help meet the basic needs of the poor and vulnerable.

Secretary of the Poverty Alleviation and Social Safety Division Yousuf Khan and Chief Executive of the National Disaster Risk Management Fund (NDRMF) Nadeem Ahmed signed the project documents. Parliamentary Secretary for Economic Affairs Division, Mohammad Yaqoob Shaikh witnessed the signing ceremony.

“The ADB assistance signed today will support Pakistan’s social protection program Ehsaas to continue providing emergency cash transfers to poor families and women,” said Ms. Yang. “The project will also help swiftly upgrade medical facilities and procure necessary supplies for hospitals and frontline health workers, meet rapid training and capacity building needs, and purchase emergency vehicles to strengthen rescue capacity in remote border areas.”

In April, ADB reallocated $30 million from the National Disaster Risk Management Project to support Pakistan’s pandemic response and the NDRMF Board of Directors allocated an additional $20 million from earned interest from the Endowment Fund capitalized under the project.

The Government of Norway has also contributed $5.28 million grant to strengthen the emergency response system in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province amid the COVID-19 crisis.

ADB is committed to achieving a prosperous, inclusive, resilient, and sustainable Asia and the Pacific, while sustaining its efforts to eradicate extreme poverty. Established in 1966, it is owned by 68 members—49 from the region.

Press Release

ADB, Pakistan sign $5.28 milllion Norwegian Grant to strengthen...

June 5, 2020: The Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the Government of Pakistan signed an agreement today to expand support for Pakistan’s response to the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province through the National Disaster Risk Management Fund (NDRMF).

The Secretary of Pakistan’s Economic Affairs Division Noor Ahmed and ADB’s Country Director for Pakistan Xiaohong Yang signed the agreement. After the signing ceremony, ADB Country Director Xiaohong Yang met with Chargé d’affaires of the Royal Norwegian Embassy in Islamabad Sigbjørn Tenfjord to discuss the project.

Under the agreement, the Government of Norway will provide a $5.28 million grant to strengthen the emergency response system in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province amid the COVID-19 crisis. The grant is drawn from the unused resources of the Pakistan Earthquake Fund and will be administered by ADB.

“The grant will help provide emergency response services, procure necessary equipment and supplies to poor communities in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s remote areas,” said Ms. Yang. “This reflects the enduring partnership and commitment of the Norwegian government and ADB to supporting disaster risk reduction in Pakistan.”

In May, ADB reallocated $30 million from the National Disaster Risk Management Project to support Pakistan’s pandemic response and the NDRMF Board of Directors allocated an additional $20 million from earned interest from the Endowment Fund capitalized under the project.

Norway has provided significant financial and technical support to Pakistan, including in good governance, education, health, and emergency assistance. Norway worked with ADB and other partners to help Pakistan swiftly rebuild and recover from the 2005 earthquake. Following the heavy floods which devastated large parts of Pakistan in 2010 and 2011, Norway provided more than $56.4 million in aid for flood-affected families and to restore basic services.

ADB is committed to achieving a prosperous, inclusive, resilient, and sustainable Asia and the Pacific while sustaining its efforts to eradicate extreme poverty. Established in 1966, it is owned by 68 members—49 from the region.

Press Release

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