Macro Bites

Macro Bite # 51

3 min read
This week’s newsletter is also my first, so I wanted to take the opportunity to say hello to the Macro Pakistani community! The work that Faiz and the rest of the team have done to build this platform up has been incredible, and as the new Editor-in-Chief I am going to try my best to continue in a similar vein and stay focused on Macro Pakistani’s core mission; to democratise access and understanding of the data underpinning Pakistan’s economy.

A little bit about me: I have previously worked as a journalist and researcher, and co-founded the digital news start-up Soch Videos, where I wrote articles and produced explainers and short documentaries. A select list of my works can be found here, and as you can probably tell, my focus has been on exploring the structural issues that perpetuate incompetence and inequality in various fields in Pakistan. These are themes that I will continue to explore in my writing over the coming months. Please write to me at asad@macropakistani.com with your thoughts, feedback, and criticism—be it on content or style—I would love to hear from you, and will try to respond individually to each one. Until next week!

Housing in Pakistan
Featured Article
Can the government’s flagship Naya Pakistan Housing Program be the answer to Pakistan’s housing woes, or is it a developer-led approach that has already been tried by its predecessors in power?

By Asad Pabani
Read more

Banks meet SBP’s housing target by disproportionately lending to own employees


Source: State Bank of Pakistan; MP Analysis

The value of bank employee housing loans is greater than both lending to the entire construction sector, as well as housing loans for the 199 million Pakistanis who are not bank employees.

WEEKLY DATA WATCH

KSE-100 remained flat as investors booked profits after a short rally. PKR lost value slightly as trade deficit for FY 2021 rose by 34%. Local gold prices continued to fall marginally in line with international prices. KSE-100 rose during the week and then fell slightly as investors booked profits after a short rally. Foreign investors also remained net sellers in the market. PKR lost value slightly as the trade deficit for FY 2021 rose by 34% compared to last year’s low base. This is despite goods’ exports setting record monthly and annual highs. While exports were up 18% from last year’s low base, imports were up 26%, putting pressure on the exchange rate. Local gold prices continued to fall marginally in line with international prices.
Annual change in Sensitive Price Index fell to 13.31% vs. 15.29% last week. Poorest of country (Q1) were disproportionately affected with change of 16.7% .On a weekly basis, prices rose for all quintiles by 0.53%. The annual change in Sensitive Price Index fell to 13.31% vs. 15.29% last week. This was in line with changes in the Consumer Price Index (a measure of inflation), which fell below 10% for the month of June. However, the poorest of the country (Q1) continued to be disproportionately affected with change in prices of 16.70% vs. 12.53% for Q5. On a weekly basis, prices rose for all quintiles by 0.53%.

Prices of Tomatoes (+33.27%) and Onions (15.40%) continued to rise this week. Additionally, fuel prices also rose with Petrol rising by 1.78%, LPG by 3.14% and Diesel by 1.21%. Fall in prices of Chicken (-3.01%) and Wheat (-1.05%) helped moderate inflation for the week.

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What Else We’re Reading (Local)

  • Some respite for car owners (not you, Land Cruiser owners), as new entrants, along with the reduction of some taxes and duties, are likely to decrease the price of cars below 850cc (Profit)
  • Eight years on, the USD 2.5 billion gas pipeline from Port Qasim to Lahore still remains in limbo (Dawn)

What Else We’re Reading (International)

  • The State-Owned Enterprises (SOE) sector in Pakistan is twice as large as the international benchmark, with their liabilities averaging 8-12% of the GDP in recent years (World Bank)
  • Arif Habib Dolmen, which created Pakistan’s only Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT) in 2015, plans to raise PKR 8 billion (USD 51 million) via private placements in two REITs for a housing project in Karachi (Bloomberg)

 

Asad Pabani

Asad has previously worked as a journalist and researcher. He co-founded the digital media platform Soch Videos in 2017, where he wrote and produced articles, explainers and short documentaries on issues of public policy, inequality and the environment. He has also contributed to the Collective for Social Science Research, Pioneers Post, and Dawn.

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