Macro Bites

Macro Bite # 60

2 min read

As it pours down in Karachi this week, one can’t help but remember the severe flooding that afflicted the city almost exactly a year ago. Say what you will about the Government of Sindh, and there’s much that can be said, but events around the world over the last year or so have shown that climate change can’t be stopped by one provincial government alone.

Just this week, floods in America’s northeast killed over 40 people, while areas of Spain also suffered heavy damage. Expand the timeline to this calendar year, and heavy flooding affected countries ranging from China to Australia to South Sudan. Meanwhile analysis coming out of the deadly German floods earlier this year found that climate change had made such flooding up to nine times more likely.

Coming back to the Government of Sindh though, at a time when the climate should clearly be given higher priority, it has instead decided to exempt most industrial and residential construction projects from having to undergo an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) report. In fact, high-rises and housing schemes no longer even need to undergo a public consultation process before their approval. Still, at least we have Abdullah Shah Ghazi’s shrine protecting us from the inevitable, right?

 

WEEKLY DATA WATCH

KSE-100 fell marginally this week due to rupee depreciation and food inflation. PKR depreciated further this week, with a wider deficit anticipated for the next fiscal year. Local gold prices rose slightly this week as international prices remain in relatively bullish territory.

The annual change in Sensitive Price Index fell to 12.53% vs. 12.67% last week. The poorest of the country (Q1) continue to bear the brunt of increased prices, with a change of 15.51% vs. 12.20% for Q5. On a weekly basis, prices rose for all quintiles by 0.67%.

Increase in prices of Chicken (+13.17%), Onions (+6.64%) and Wheat (+2.39%) contributed to inflation this week. A fall in the price of Petrol (-1.25%) and Potatoes (-0.55%) helped moderate inflation. A fall in LPG prices (-2.74%) also lowered weekly inflation numbers.

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What Else We’re Reading (Local)

  • The Pakistani Rupee has a hit a one-year low against the US Dollar, with little prospect of the State Bank intervening to stem its fall. (Dawn)
  • Pakistan and India are likely to go head-to-head in European court to decide who has ownership over the Geographical Indication of basmati rice, as a deadline to resolve the issue amicably expires this week. (Profit)

What Else We’re Reading (International)

 

  • Japan’s surging Covid-19 outbreak and bleak economic recovery has led to Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga stepping down as the country’s leader. (Bloomberg)
  • Why are McDonald’s McFlurry machines broken so often? The US Federal Trade Commission is now on the case. (WSJ)

 

 

Asad Pabani

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

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