ISLAMABAD: The weekly inflation, as measured by the Sensitive Price Indicator (SPI), posted a record growth of 4.13 percent for the combined income group on a weekly basis for the period ending October 27 mainly due to the highest ever. energy and food prices, according to data released by the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS) on Friday.
After rebasing, the SPI recorded the second-highest weekly increase of 3.68pc on September 22 driven by an increase in fuel-adjustment prices in consumers’ electricity bills.
On a year-on-year basis, the weekly inflation recorded an increase of 30.68pc. The annual increase in SPI has been declining for some time, falling from a peak of 45.5pc in the week ending September 1. Other notable mentions: 44.6pc (Aug 25), 42.7pc (Sept 8), 42.3pc (Aug 18). Prices have risen so fast recently because of the rising prices of food and fuel.
A World Bank report estimated that average inflation based on the Consumer Price Index (CPI) in Pakistan will rise to 23% in the current fiscal year from 12.2% a year ago due to higher domestic energy prices, flood disruptions and a weaker rupee. .
The SBP has tightened its monetary policy to contain rising inflation and the rapid depreciation of the rupee. From September 2021, the central bank increased the policy rate by a cumulative 800bps to 15pc, the highest rate since the 2008 global financial crisis.
Rising vegetable prices due to damage to the standing crops and a massive hike in electricity rates have also contributed to pushing inflation.
The International Monetary Fund said in its country report that average Consumer Price Index (CPI) inflation is expected to rise to 20% in the current financial year, while core inflation will also remain elevated due to higher energy prices. and the decline of the rupee.
The PMLN-led coalition government has projected a modest annual inflation target of 11.5pc for the ongoing fiscal year. The government revived the Monitoring Price Committee headed by Planning Minister Ahsan Iqbal who convened only one meeting after its revival, clearly showing the importance of the government.
The SPI monitors the prices of 51 essential items based on a survey of 50 markets in 17 cities across the country. During the week under review, the prices of 21 out of 51 items increased, 16 decreased, and 14 remained stable.
In the food group, the items that saw the highest weekly increase in prices include powdered salt (2.57pc), Lipton tea (1.89pc), Irri-6/9 rice (1.24pc) and garlic (1.04pc). .
In the non-food group, per week, the electricity price increased (89.34pc), energy saving (1.57pc) and firewood (1.31pc).
Annually, the items whose prices jumped the most included onions (177.37pc), tomatoes (84.17pc), diesel (74.51pc), pulse gram (64.73pc), petrol (62.75pc), cooking oil. 5 liters (55.13pc), washing soap (54.97pc), pulsmoong (54.19pc), pulsmasoor (52.33pc), vegetable ghee 2.5 Kg (52.31pc), gentleman sponge chappal (52.21pc), mustard oil (50.97pc). ), pulse mash (50.08pc) and vegetable ghee 1 Kg (49.44pc).
Published in Dawn, October 29, 2022