April 23, 2022 (MLN): The economic roundup contains the recent economic developments and financial data releases over the course of the week to keep an eye on next week’s trend.
- Despite all-time high monthly exports of $3.7 billion, Pakistan's current account deficit (CAD) increased sharply by 98% to $1 billion in March 2022 from $519 million in February 2022, largely due to a 17% YoY increase in total imports to $7.2bn.
- Pakistan’s trade deficit in services widened by 40.42% YoY to $264 million during March 2022 from $188mn in the same month of the previous year.
- The weekly Sensitive Price Indicator (SPI) for the combined consumption group recorded a decline of 1.28% for the second consecutive week ended on April 21, 2022, mainly due to a decrease observed in the prices of essential food items, electricity and LPG prices.
- The government released funds amounting to Rs1,949.72 million to execute seven ongoing and six new petroleum-related projects during the first nine months of the current fiscal year under the Public Sector Development Programme (PSDP 2021-22) against a total allocation of Rs3,249.54 million.
- The country’s overall nutrients offtake jumped by 13.5% to 332,000 tonnes during March 2022 from 293,000 tonnes in the same month last year.
- The total liquid foreign exchange reserves held by the country increased by $16.9 million or 0.09% WoW to stand at $17.04bn as of the week ended on April 16, 2022, compared to $17.02bn in the previous week.
- The State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) conducted an auction on Thursday in which it raised Rs137.24 billion through the sale of 5-year GOP Ijara Sukuk (GIS) Variable Rental Rate (VRR) and GIS Fixed Rental Rate (FRR).
- The government raised Rs614 billion through the auction of three, six, and twelve-month T-bills against the target of Rs600bn and maturity of Rs541bn.
- The country incurred external loans of $12.77 billion in the first nine months of the ongoing fiscal i.e., July- March FY22 from multiple financing sources against the annual budget estimates of $14.09bn for the entire fiscal year FY22.
- The circular debt in the gas sector reached Rs1500 billion, including a loss of Rs200 billion in Sui Northern Gas Pipeline Limited (SNGPL).
- The total deposits held by scheduled banks showed a growth of 14% YoY to stand around Rs20.47 trillion in the third month of the calendar year 2022 i.e., March 2022, against Rs17.9tr in the same month of last year on account of strong overseas inflows.
- The banking sector spread for the month of March 2022 increased by 9 basis points (bps) over the month which brings its latest value to 4.67% as compared to the prior month's spread of 4.58%.
- The International Monetary Fund (IMF) forecasted Pakistan’s economic growth rate at 4.2% in the fiscal year 2023, while it projected the growth rate of the current fiscal year at 4%.
- Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) inflows into Pakistan fell by 2 percent year-on-year during July-March of FY22 to reach $1.29 billion.
- Despite higher interest rates, regulative curbs for acquiring the loans and an increase in taxes on the import of automobiles and their parts, automobile financing in Pakistan increased by 2% MoM to Rs364 billion in March 2022.
- Total Power generation in the country increased by 16.2% YoY to 10,418 GWh during March 2022 compared to 8,965 GWh in March 2021, backed by higher generation from Furnace Oil (FO), RLNG, and Nuclear.
- Central Power Purchasing Agency (CPPA) proposed an increase of Rs3.16/kWh in the electricity tariff over the reference fuel charges of Rs6.23/kWh under fuel price adjustment for the month of March 2022 for Ex-WAPDA Discos.
- The Federal Government released Rs603.5 billion out of the total allocation of Rs900 billion for various ongoing and new social sector uplift projects of the federal ministries and divisions in the first nine months (July-March) of the fiscal year 2021-22 under its Public Sector Development Programme (PSDP).
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