Home Latest News Year-on-Year Inflation Soars to 38.4%

Year-on-Year Inflation Soars to 38.4%

Inflation increases by 2.89 percent in week ending Feb. 16, owing largely to major increase in prices of food items

by Staff Report

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Data issued by the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS) on Friday showed that inflation had spiked by 2.89 percent in the week ending Feb. 16, while it had soared to a record 38.42 percent on year-on-year basis, primarily due to increases in prices of food items, cigarettes and fuel.

According to the PBS data, the 2.89 percent weekly rise in inflation is the highest recorded in the country since Oct. 17, when it had soared to 4.13 percent. It said the highest weekly increase was of petrol prices, which jumped by 8.82 percent; followed by 5 liters of cooking oil (8.65 percent); 1kg of vegetable ghee (8.02 percent); bananas (8.01 percent); chicken (7.49 percent); 2.5kg of vegetable ghee (6.76 percent); diesel (6.49 percent); and cigarettes (6.18 percent).

Meanwhile, per the data, four items saw a decrease in prices in the past week, with tomatoes declining by 14.27 percent; onions (13.48 percent); eggs (4.24 percent); garlic (2.1 percent); and wheat flour (0.1 percent).

The year-on-year data, however, showed that onions had climbed by a dramatic 433.44 percent; chicken (101.86 percent); diesel (81.36 percent); eggs (81.22 percent); rice Irri-6/9 (74.12 percent); rice basmati broken (73.05 percent); petrol (69.87 percent); pulse moong (67.98 percent); bananas (67.68 percent), tea Lipton (63.89 percent); pulse gram (56.93 percent); bread (55.36 percent); pulse mash (53.42 percent); LPG (52.68 percent); and cigarettes (50.02 percent). At the same time, decreases were observed in the prices of tomatoes (65.30 percent); electricity for Q1 (7.5 percent); and powdered chilies (7.42 percent).

According to the PBS, the Sensitive Price Indicator—which measures short-term inflation—increased by 2.45 percent for the lowest-income group (people earning below Rs. 17,732/month) and by 2.94 percent for the group with income of more than Rs. 44,175/month.

Observers maintain inflation is expected to continue spiking in the coming weeks and months, especially following the imposition of a ‘mini-budget’ that has increased the general sales tax and also introduced additional taxes on “luxury” items, sugary beverages and cigarettes. In a bid to revive a stalled International Monetary Fund (IMF) program, the government has also decided to boost gas and electricity prices.

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