The government’s notified gas price hike drove up annual short-term inflation to 41.9 percent in the week ending Nov. 16, its highest value since May.
According to data issue by the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS), gas charges soared by 1,108.59% over the past year, the single highest surge of any commodity. Other items that contributed to the annual inflation were cigarettes, 94.46%; wheat flour, 86.4%; chili powder, 81.7%; broken basmati rice, 76.7%; garlic, 63.6%; rice IRRI-6/9, 61.9%; tea, 54.6%; gur, 51.01%; sugar, 49.96%; and salt, 46.37%.
Meanwhile, the year-on-year trends saw the prices of onions decline by 36.2%; tomatoes, 14.02%; mustard oil, 3.95%; vegetable ghee, 2.05%; and pulse gram, 0.49%.
The sensitive price indicator (SPI), which is computed weekly to assess the price movement of 51 essential commodities at a shorter interval of time, measures short-term inflation. According to the PBS, the SPI increased by 9.95% in the week ending Nov. 16, compared to 0.73% the week prior.
Over the past week, said the PBS, the prices of 25 items increased; 13 decreased; and 13 items remained almost unchanged compared to the week prior. It said major increases were recorded in the prices of gas, 480%; tea, 8.88%; pulse masoor, 5.28%; chicken, 3.99%; garlic, 3.09%; salt, 2.93%; wheat flour, 2.64%; tea prepared, 2.07%; LPG, 2.03%; potatoes, 2%.
On the other hand, major decrease was observed in the prices of electricity, 16.06%; tomatoes, 11.16%; sugar, 4.24%; diesel, 2.15%; onions, 1.49%; vegetable ghee, 1.39%; petrol, 0.73%; cooking oil, 0.65%; rice irri-6/9, 0.42%; vegetable ghee, 0.28%; and gur, 0.27%.
The International Monetary Fund (IMF), in a press statement issued after the completion of the first review on the $3 billion Standby Arrangement, said it expected inflation to moderate over the next quarter.