Pakistan’s textile exports rise to $8.8 billion
ISLAMABAD: Exports of textile and clothing products posted almost an eight per cent growth year-on-year to reach $8.8 billion in the first eight months of 2017-18, the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS) reports in its latest official data. An official in the textile division said that one of the reasons for the revival in textile and clothing exports is the cash subsidy offered under the Prime Minister’s exports enhancement package. The release of pending refunds and better energy supplies also contributed towards increasing exports, he added. The main driver of this growth was the value-added textile sector. Exports of ready-made garments went up 13.1% in the eight months in value and 12.8% in quantity. Similarly, exports of knitwear edged up 13.3% in value and 2.7% in quantity during the period under review. Exports of bedwear went up 4.5% in value and 2.1% in quantity. However, exports of towel posted a negative growth of 0.4% in value while in quantity terms it increased by 1.9%. In the category of primary commodities, exports of cotton yarn witnessed a year-on-year rise of 1.8% while those of yarn other than cotton went up by 31.9%. Proceeds from raw cotton exports recorded a year-on-year increase of 38% while the total export proceeds posted a growth of 11.6% to $14.8 billion in July-February 2018 versus $13.3 billion over the corresponding period of last year. The non-textile exports were up by 17.6% to $6bn in July-Feb 2018 from $5.1 billion over the corresponding period of last year, reflecting an increase of 17.6%. Meanwhile, lending to private sector in Pakistan, including loans to consumers and companies, hit an all-time high of Rs4.89 trillion in February, up around 18 per cent as compared to the same month a year earlier, the latest official data shows, as decades-low interest rate has cut into borrowing costs. The State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) data shows that aggregate private sector loans made a surprise jump. “Credit to private sector has reached an all-time high of Rs4,893 billion in February 2018, growing at a five-year compound aggregate growth rate of 10.54 per cent due to the low interest rate scenario,” Ahsan Arshad, an analyst at Taurus Research said in report. “Manufacturing sector contributed the most in private sector credit uptick, while consumer financing growth also remained upbeat.” The policy rate was kept at 5.75 per cent since May 2016. SBP raised policy rate by 25 basis points to six per cent in January this year.