05252016Wed
Last update: Wed, 25 May 2016 07pm

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Building up on our recent coverage of USIP's latest study (titled: Informality in Karachi's land, manufacturing and transport sectors), today's column will flag a key methodological concern over the report.
The construction boom is driving the cement sector in full-throttle. Total cement dispatches for 10MFY16 stood at 31 million tons, a 10 percent increase year-on-year, recording its highest ever dispatches last month. While the outlook for the sector remains robust on the back of growing local demand, April has seen a one percent year-on-year fall to 3.51 million tons. This decline is largely associated to an eight percent decline in local dispatches from the south block and a fall in exports to Afghanistan and South Africa.
A spike here and there is not something to get all excited about; the spice needed to really gratify the appetite of investors comes from a share price rally with strong fundamental support.
The pricing issue that has had Pakistan's pharma industry embroiled since 2001 recently saw some new developments. Last week, the Drug Regulatory Authority of Pakistan (DRAP) approved an increase of eight percent in the price of different drugs based on raw material cost. But is this satisfactory?
The central bank's latest monetary policy statement is old news by now; much analysis has been done on the subject and today's piece therefore will not delve into those affairs. Instead, today's column will only highlight two unusual changes; one discomforting, and the other strangely pleasant.
Less than a month from now, citizens of the United Kingdom (UK) will cast a ballot in favour of, or against staying in the European Union (EU). This vote can critically change the shape and scope of the European integration project in the future. Britons are hardly going a day without confronting new headlining-grabbing statistics or qualitative assertions evoking their anxieties.
The Large Scale Manufacturing (LSM) index recorded an impressive month-on-month growth of 6.34 percent in March 2016 - that's the highest month-on-month growth in the past four years. This more-than-average growth helped the nine-month LSM numbers rise by 4.70 percent for 9MFY16 compared to 2.79 percent in the same period last year.