Macro Bites

Macro Bite # 57

3 min read
It is difficult to begin this week without talking of the crisis unfolding within our western neighbor’s borders. Taliban advances have seen them conquer most major Afghan cities, with confirmation of the fall of Kandahar, the second-largest city, coming as I type this newsletter.

While there will undoubtedly be a lot of finger-pointing and geopolitical analysis in the weeks to come, an interesting facet of the Taliban advance has been its gradual economic chokehold over the country. Their capture of Afghanistan’s border crossings with Iran, Pakistan and Tajikistan over the past few weeks led to them controlling crucial trade routes in the landlocked country. It also gave them control over import duties, worth an estimated USD 30 million per month, that make up half of the government’s overall revenue. It came as no surprise then that the Afghan finance minister abruptly resigned his post a few days ago, amid rumours he was leaving the country.

Meanwhile, in another crisis perpetuated by foreign actors, this week saw our Instagram page temporarily hacked. Unlike in Afghanistan though, the international community (Instagram HQ) did come to our assistance, and I am happy to announce that we are back up and running.

And of course, finally, this week sees Pakistan celebrate its Independence Day. We at Macro Pakistani would like to wish all Pakistanis a blessed Jashn-e-Azadi Mubarak 🇵🇰. Until next week!

Featured Article: Naya Pakistan Certificates: A good deal for Pakistan?



KSE-100 fell marginally this week, as Covid-19 cases surged in the country, and the situation in Afghanistan grew more volatile.

PKR depreciated further this week, as USD gained positive momentum due to a stronger-than-expected US jobs report. Local gold prices also fell this week, due to a fall in international prices.


The annual change in Sensitive Price Index rose to 13.33% vs. 12.40% last week. The poorest of the country (Q1) continue to bear the brunt of increased prices, with a change of 16.60% vs. 12.79% for Q5. On a weekly basis, prices rose for all quintiles by 0.61%.

Increase in prices of Tomatoes (+37.47), Chicken (+9.21%), and Garlic (+4.45%) contributed to inflation this week. A fall in the price of Bananas (-3.82%), Eggs (-1.76%) and Onions (-1.72%) helped moderate inflation.

What Else We’re Reading (Local)

  • With Pakistan increasingly dependent on remittances for foreign exchange, the government has decided to introduce a loyalty scheme for those remitting USD 10,000 and more annually. (Dawn)
  • NADRA has launched an alien registration card (ARC) to facilitate refugees and other undocumented people and help them become a part of the formal economy. (Business Recorder)

What Else We’re Reading (International)

  • China is accelerating the building of coal-powered steel mills and power plants, even as it may put its climate change commitments in jeopardy. (FT)
  • How do you lose USD 20 billion in two days? The story of Bill Hwang, head of Archegos Capital Management. (Bloomberg)


Asad Pabani

Journalist, researcher and documentary filmmaker. Prior works featured in Dawn, Soch Videos and Pioneers Post.

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