ISLAMABAD, Aug 31: After remaining in the plus for four consecutive weeks the Sensitive Price Index (SPI) witnessed a decline for the week ending on August 30, 2012, mainly owing to drop in the prices of tomatoes, onion and chicken.
The last time SPI in the negative witnessed was during the week ending on July 26, 2012.
The data released on Friday by the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS)showed that the SPI for combined group decreased by 0.48 per cent as it went down to 187.58 points during the week under review from 188.49 points in the previous week.
However, the major beneficiary of the declining inflation has been the highest income group earning more than Rs35,000 per month, as the SPI decreased by 0.67 per cent for this group against inflation in the previous week.
The benefit of declined SPI was less with the reduction in the income group as the SPI dropped by 0.52 per cent for the income group earning between Rs18,001 and Rs35,000 per month, while for those earning Rs12,001 to Rs18,000 per month the SPI was reduced by 0.36 per cent against the previous week.
The income group earning between Rs8,001 and Rs12,000 per month witnessed the SPI decrease by 0.21 per cent, whereas the lowest income witnessed a negligible gain out of the reduction in weekly inflation.
The SPI was reduced by 0.04 per cent for the income group earning up to Rs8,000 per month.
The analysts have said that the impact of reduction in SPI is more for the high income groups because the items more frequently consumed by high end users have dropped in prices.
“Despite reduction in prices the rates of tomatoes and onions were still high for the low income groups,” said an economist at the Planning Commission. “The banana prices have come down but the reduced prices are also beyond the reach of ordinary consumers.”
During the week under review the average prices of 12 items registered decrease including tomatoes, onions, live farm chicken, potatoes, bananas, washed mash pulse, loose red chillies, sugar, washed gram pulse, loose vegetable ghee, LPG and mustard oil.Prices of 15 items witnessed increase including wheat flour, farm chicken eggs, garlic, wheat, washed masoor pulse, washing soap, tin packed cooking oil, tin packed vegetable ghee, washed moong pulse, energy savour, milk fresh, curd, rice IRRI-6, broken rice basmati and gur.
Whereas, the prices of 26 items remained unchanged which are plain bread, beef, mutton, milk powdered, loose powdered salt, tea, cooked beef, cooked dal, tea prepared, cigarettes, long cloth, shirting, lawn cloth, georgette, gents sandal, gents chappal, electric charges, gas charges, kerosene oil, firewood, petrol, match box, diesel, local telephone charges and bath soap.
The SPI is computed at 53 essential items for all income groups and combined, covering 17 urban centres across the country.