ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s inflation up in November 10.19 per cent from a year ago partly because of high food and oil prices.
The inflation measured through Consumer Price Index (CPI) even witnessed a 0.29 per cent increase over the previous month of October, data released by the Federal Bureau of Statistics on Friday, showed.
Last year has seen highest ever inflation in Pakistan, which was mostly driven by food prices. But to produce feel-good figures, the government this year reduces the food weight in CPI basket from 40.34 per cent to 34.46 per cent. This reduction will help in lowering overall inflation as well.
Inflation went up by 13.8 per cent in July but slowed to 11.56 per cent in August and 10.46 per cent in September, but slightly up to 11 per cent in October following the changes in the base-year.
The statistics showed the food inflation eased to 10.02 per cent in November over the last year. Common people are hardly to believe these statistics as they have witnessed a robust growth in food prices in the past few months.
The official figures show prices of non-perishable food items witnessed a surge of 11.83 per cent, while price of perishable products up paltry by 1.68 per cent.
The price of commodities, which witnessed an increase during the month under review include tomatoes (42.02pc), spices (36.37pc), fresh fruits (29.62pc), betel leaves and nuts (24.56pc), gramwhole (24.19pc), condiments (23.50pc), milk fresh (21.11 pc), milk product (20.47pc), beverages (19.79pc), cooking oil (19.56pc), and meat (19.35pc).
Contrary to the food inflation, non-food and non-energy core inflation up by 10.4 per cent in November from 9.4 per cent last year. The rising trend in core inflation defies the central bank’s tight monetary policy to tame inflation.
But even still the central bank kept the interest rate unchanged at 12 per cent on November 30. However, emerging economies like Indonesia, Thailand have realised to lower interest rate to spur economic growth.
At the same time, a weaker rupee will fan inflation, which is already over 10 per cent. The State Bank seems reluctant to intervene in the market to check the fall of the rupee. It is expected that the rupee to depreciate against dollar as low as Rs90 by end of this month.
Another factor, which fuelled inflation was the continued borrowing from the central bank, and commercial lenders, which reached to Rs712bn as of November 2011 almost doubled during the same period from a year ago.
The transport sector witnessed an increase of 13.16 per cent in November this year over last year. The education cost is up by 11.92pc, restaurants and hotels 13.12pc, recreation and culture 5.14pc, communication 0.83pc and health 13.16pc, respectively.