If the latest fertiliser numbers are anything to go by, farmers economy is surely looking up. The ongoing Rabi season has proved to be the best in terms of nutrient off-take in recent memory. The calendar year gone by was equally good, if not better, with urea off-take registering a massive rise of 37 percent year on year.
High volatility in the perishable food prices sub index drove the monthly hike in consumer price index at 0.96 percent to register the yearly increase of 8.53 percent in March 14. Perishable food index after a decline of 33 percent in the previous three months was up by 11 percent in March owing to high vegetable prices. Non-perishable food items increased by One percent in June and due to its high weight significantly lowered the impact of perishable to make the overall food index to soar by 2.2 percent.
Say what you like, condemn all you want, but in retrospect there seems to be a method to this madness that helped the currency recover from Rs106 against the dollar in mid-February to Rs98 by March 31.
Poor Gross Refining Margins (GRMs) comprehensively sum up the downstream oil and gas sectors refinery segment in 1H FY14. Therefore, the sector has generally underperformed the broader market; apart from some price sensitive occurrences in the industry (see Whats going on with PRL? published March 26, 2014).
Pakistanis may soon start using 3G mobile broadband services. Spectrum auction is planned for April 23. If all goes as planned, these services may come online in major cities as soon as May. The leading operators are reportedly 3G-ready.
Besides the misunderstanding about a foreign fund winding up its operation in Pakistan, rupee appreciation has been seen as a threat by the oil and gas Exploration and Production (E&P) sector. Mind you, all E&P companies have dollar-denominated revenues and any improvement in rupees value negatively affects their profits.