The weekly roundup of Pakistan’s economy

The departed week remained sluggish for Pakistan’s equity market. During the outgoing week, stock market remained under pressure, as hike in policy rate by 50bps, increase in fuel prices by Rs.6 per liter and higher than expected inflation of 9.4% for March FY19 hurt the sentiments of market participants. Resultantly, the market lost 1,128 points from the index and closed at 37,522 index level. This was the worst drop since the start of the CY19.

In addition to this, the other major developments that took place during the departed week include:

On Friday, Finance Minister Asad Umar ruled out a further devaluation of the rupee, which has lost about 25 % of its value over the past year, urging people to invest in the stock market and not waste money buying dollars. This comes after the statement of SBP ruling out any further PKR depreciation.

Meanwhile talking to media persons in Islamabad on Friday, he said that due to the prudent economic policies of the current government the trade and current account deficit have reduced from 24.2 to 21.5 billion dollars and from 11.4 to 8.5 billion dollars in the last eight months respectively.    

Prime Minister's Advisor announced on Wednesday that the government will withdraw 10% Federal Excise Duty (FED) on locally-manufactured vehicles of 1700 cc and above.

On Thursday, National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (NEPRA) gave its approval for increase in power tariff by Rs 0.81 KWh on account of fuel price adjustment for the month of February.

The government on Monday jacked up the price of Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) by Rs.41 per cylinder for the month of April 2019. According to the notification issued by Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (OGRA), the new price of 11.8 kg domestic cylinder would be Rs 1563, up from Rs 1522 in March

In addition, according to the notification issued by Finance Minister, the government on Sunday increased the prices of per liter petrol by Rs6 for the month of April 2019.The prices of High-Speed Diesel (HSD) also enhanced by Rs6 per liter whereas the prices of kerosene oil increased by Rs3 per liter.

On the upside, as per the recent report published by Khaleej Times, Pakistan is all set to exit the Financial Action Task Force’s (FATF) grey list by September, given that it complies with all of the mandatory requirements set forth by FATF.

Meanwhile on Thursday, according to latest report of State Bank of Pakistan, the overall business confidence index for industry and services increased during February 2019 as compared to December 2018.

On the downside, The Asian Development Bank in its recent report on Thursday, said that Pakistan will continue to face macroeconomic challenges despite tight fiscal and monetary policies to rein in twin deficits leading to deceleration of the GDP to 3.9 per cent in the ongoing fiscal year

The statistical data released this week apprising the economic standing of the country are listed below:

  • Pakistan's Yearly Inflation rate in March 2019 was 9.41 percent compared to 8.21 percent in February 2018 and 3.25 percent in March 2018. On a monthly basis, CPI increased by 1.42 percent in March compared to 0.64 percent in February.
  • Pakistan’s reserves increased by USD1,923.70 Million as the total liquid foreign reserves held by the country stood at USD 17,397.60 million on March 29, 2019.
  • The imports of agriculture machinery into the country during first 8 months of current financial year increased by 4.21 percent as compared the imports of the corresponding period of last year.
  • Non-Government sector has borrowed a sum of Rs.860.5 billion as of March 22, 2019, during the current fiscal year.
  • Net borrowing by the government sector as of March 22, 2019 dropped to Rs.11 trillion, whereas last week, the borrowed amount was recorded at Rs.11.13 billion.
  • The overall production of petroleum commodities has witnessed a decrease of 4.78 percent during first seven months of the current fiscal year as compared to corresponding period of 2017-18.
  • Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) has crossed the mark of 1.8 million Income Tax filers for Tax year 2018 for the first time in its history.
  • Seed cotton equivalent to 10.77 or 10,772,306 bales have reached ginneries across Pakistan till April 1, 2019, registering a shortfall by 6.9 per cent compared to corresponding period of last year.
  • Global LNG imports increased by 8.3 percent to 313.8 million tonnes in 2018 year on year.
  • The net sale of securities logged in at Rs.3 million, i.e. around Rs.363 lower than the previous week.
  • The central government acquired a sum of Rs.27.6 trillion in debt as of February 2019, which is Rs.4.7 trillion higher than the amount borrowed until the same period last year and Rs.3.4 trillion higher than the beginning of ongoing fiscal year.

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Posted on: 2019-04-07T13:18:00+05:00