ISLAMABAD: Inflation remained 3.8 per cent year-on-year in October owing to an increase in the prices of perishable and non-perishable products, the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS) reported on Wednesday.

Inflation rose 0.7pc month-on-month in October compared to 0.6pc in the previous month and 0.8pc in October 2016.

Main inflation, measured through the Consumer Price Index (CPI), was steadily on the rise for the past three months. The CPI tracks prices of around 480 commodities every month in urban centres across the country.

The annual inflation target for the current fiscal year is 6pc.

Average inflation in July-October stood at 3.5pc against 3.95pc in the same period a year ago.

The food group with 37.47pc weight in the CPI basket showed an increase of 2.2pc year-on-year in October.

On a month-on-month basis, food inflation increased 0.6pc in October due to an increase of 1.94pc in the prices of perishable products and 0.35pc in those of non-perishable products.

Food items whose prices increased the most in October were tomatoes, which went up 31.43pc, betel leaves and nuts 2.57pc, potatoes 2.25pc, eggs 2.04pc, onion 1.9pc, besan 1.65pc and gram whole 1.59pc.

Core inflation, measured by excluding the volatile food and energy prices, was recorded at 5.3pc in October, up 0.9pc from the preceding month. The gradual build-up of domestic demand is evident in rising core inflation. Of 89 commodity groups within the CPI, it covers the price movement of 43 items.

Core inflation has remained subdued since November 2015 because of a tighter monetary policy and reduction in food and fuel prices.

Non-food inflation recorded 4.9pc year-on-year increase in October. It increased 0.8pc over the preceding month. Crude oil prices increased in the past few months. The impact of the rise in global prices was passed on to consumers in Pakistan.

Within the group, the education and health indices rose 11.46pc and 10.57pc, respectively, in October on a year-on-year basis.

A decline of 16.21pc was witnessed in the index of alcoholic beverages and tobacco. The index of clothing and footwear rose 3.79pc and that of housing, water, electricity, gas and other fuels went up 4.88pc.

Meanwhile, the Sensitive Price Index edged down 0.89pc and the Wholesale Price Index rose 1.39pc in July-October.

Published in Dawn, November 2nd, 2017

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