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Business Published At: 07 Jul 2024, 20:00 p.m.

Large-scale industrial production edges up in Q1'24


14 out of 23 sectors witnessed positive growth

Production in large-scale manufacturing industries edged up with a 6.4% growth in March, showing modest pickup in economic activity.

This was shown in data released by the Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics (BBS) recently.

It showed industrial production in the large-scale index was 217.45 in March compared to 204.18 in the same month a year earlier.

However, the index for the month marked an increase of less than 1% over its preceding month of February 2024.

The gradual easing of import restrictions, clearance of a backlog of letters of credit and the introduction of a crawling-peg system in interest-rate regime are considered spurs behind the pickup in economic activity.

During March 2024, 14 out of 23 sectors witnessed positive growth, including food, beverages, apparel, leather, printing, coke and refined petroleum products, chemicals, pharmaceuticals, manufacturing of basic metal and machinery and equipment.

A large-scale focus is on the main industrial sectors and not on total GDP, but many consider the shift a proxy of the gross domestic product (GDP) concept as the prime gauge of economic advances.

Despite the prevailing domestic downside risks for the industrial sector, such as higher inflation, high input cost and high policy rate, the large industry recorded above the potential level as the global economy is expected to have a slight growth, many believe.

A slight acceleration is expected for advanced economies -- where growth is expected to rise from 1.6% in 2023 to 1.7% in 2024 and 1.8% in 2025, according to an IMF projection on real GDP.

It notes a modest slowdown in emerging markets and developing economies -- from 4.3% in 2023 to 4.2% in both 2024 and 2025.

And such real GDP for low-income developing countries is projected at 4.7% in 2024 and 5.2% in 2025, the IMF Outlook on economy showed.

The IMF expected this positive trend to continue in the remaining months of the immediate-past fiscal year.

In the pharmaceutical sector, positive growth was recorded by more than 16%, food by 15%, clothing nearly 11% and leather and related products by more than 13% in March from a year ago.

Rubber and plastic products sector posted a negative growth of 25.2% while manufacturing of beverages by approximately 17%.

The textile sector also dropped by 15.4% in March over the same month last year.