The weekly roundup of Pakistan’s economy

May 5, 2019 (MLN): The Pakistan’s equity market seems to be on track for performing at its worst, as the market continued to remain red during the outgoing week, where all sessions closed red as investors remained vigilant over ongoing talk with IMF team.

Moreover, the economy issues that affected the index were upcoming budget, MSCI review and FATF's review on Pakistan's latest compliance report submitted in April. During the week, investor sentiments were remained pessimistic due to worries about regulators requirements. Resultantly, the benchmark index lost 2.71% (1,008 points) in a week, closing at 3-year low index level of 36,123.

Furthermore, the past week brought along a series of economic events both in terms of data releases and developments in public policy.

On Friday, Adviser to Prime Minister on Finance, Revenue and Economic Affairs, Dr. Abdul Hafeez Shaikh chaired a meeting of the Economic Coordination Committee of the Cabinet (ECC), in which the Committee partially approved adjustments in PoL products as proposed by Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (OGRA). However, it was decided to reduce the GST on petrol by 5% to provide relief to the consumers.

Earlier, the Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (OGRA) suggested the government to increase the petrol price by Rs14.38 per litre and diesel by Rs4.89 per litre for May 2019. Besides, the authority also recommended increasing the kerosene price by Rs7.46 per litre and light diesel oil (LDO) by Rs6.41 per litre.

Meanwhile, Adviser on Finance Hafeez sheikh, while addressing an investment Conference in Islamabad on Friday, said that the negotiations with IMF are moving ahead in a positive way to reach a program that provides a platform for macro-economic development in the country. Moreover, he said that the upcoming budget will focus on attaining sustainable economic growth by addressing gaps in the current account and fiscal deficit.

Furthermore, the same day, Prime Minister Imran Khan directed the authorities concerned to ensure the provision of essential commodities at fixed rates during the month of Ramazan.

On Thursday, Senate was informed that the government has no plans for privatizing Pakistan International Airlines and an improvement proposal was in offing to make the national carrier stand on its feet.

In addition to this, on Thursday, Prime Minister Imran Khan performed groundbreaking of the Mohmand dam project, which would generate 800 megawatts electricity and store over 1.2 million-acre feet of water, and on the occasion pledged to take steps for development of backward areas across the country, especially the tribal areas.

On Wednesday, Pak Suzuki Motor Company increased prices of Cultus and two Swift variants by Rs30,000 mainly due to passing the impact of rupee depreciation on to consumers.

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

  • As per the data released by PBS, the weekly Sensitive Price Indicator (SPI) for the combined group declined by 0.25% during the week ended May 02, 2019. Meanwhile, the SPI as compared to the corresponding period of last year increased by 12.38%.
  • The net sale of securities for the week ended April 19, 2019 clocked in at Rs. 560 million, i.e. around 9% lower than the figures reported in the prior week.
  • The government of Pakistan was Rs.749.9 billion (net) in debt as of April 19, 2019 for the fiscal year 2019, having retired a net sum of Rs.29.7 billion in a week as the prior week recorded a net loan worth Rs.779.6 billion (figure revised by SBP).
  • The non-government sector accumulated a total net debt of Rs.907.5 billion during ongoing fiscal year (FY19) as of April 19, 2019, which is 47% higher than the net borrowed amount of Rs 617.5 million in the same period last year.
  • Foreign investors repatriated a total of $55 million in March 2019, of which $42.8 million were repatriated on Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) and $12.3 million were repatriated on Foreign Portfolio Investment (FPI). 
  • Pakistan's Yearly Inflation rate in April 2019 was 8.82 Percent compared to 9.41 percent in March 2019 and 3.68 percent in April 2018.
  • Pakistan's Forex Reserves decreased by USD 251.50 Million or 1.57% and the total liquid foreign reserves held by the country stood at USD 15,742.80 Million on April 26, 2019.
  • The central government acquired a debt of Rs.27.8 trillion as of March 2019, which is Rs.4.45 trillion higher than the amount borrowed by the same period last year and Rs.3.6 trillion higher than the beginning of ongoing fiscal year.
  • Pakistan has received nearly $2.9 billion economic assistance in the form of bilateral and multilateral foreign loans and grants in the month of March 2019.

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Posted on: 2019-05-05T13:31:00+05:00

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