Inflation in Pakistan at 4pc

Updated 06 Dec 2017

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ISLAMABAD: The consumer price index (CPI) went up four per cent year-on-year in November on the back of a slight increase in the prices of perishable and non-perishable products.

Inflation rose 0.4pc month-on-month in November compared to 0.7pc in the preceding month and 0.2pc in November 2016.

In the first five months of 2017-18, main inflation measured through the CPI has steadily been on the rise, according to data released by the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics on Tuesday. 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. Between July and November, average inflation stood at 3.59pc against 3.92pc in the same period a year ago. The food group with 37.47pc weight in the CPI basket showed an increase of 2.4pc year-on-year in November.

On a month-on-month basis, food inflation increased 0.4pc due to an increase of 18pc in the prices of perishable products and 0.82pc in those of non-perishable products.

Food items whose prices increased the most in November were eggs, up 30.09pc, potatoes 5.66pc, betel leaves and nuts 4.75pc, tomatoes 3.61pc, wheat flour 1.99pc, chicken 1.95pc, fish 1.64pc, wheat 1.63pc, dry fruits 1.58pc, honey 1.39pc, and bakery and confectionary 1.19pc.

Core inflation, measured by excluding the volatile food and energy prices, was recorded at 5.5pc in November, up 0.3pc from the preceding month. The gradual build-up of domestic demand is evident in rising core inflation. Among 89 commodity groups of 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 5.1pc year-on-year increase in November. It increased by 0.4pc over the preceding month. Crude oil prices increased in the past few months. The impact of rising global prices was passed on to end-consumers in Pakistan.

Within the group, the education and health indices rose 12.40pc and 10pc, respectively, in November on a year-on-year basis. A decline of 16.37pc was witnessed in the index of alcoholic beverages and tobacco. The index of clothing and footwear rose by 3.8pc and that of housing, water, electricity, gas and other fuels by 4.85pc.

Meanwhile, the sensitive price index edged down 1.14pc and the wholesale price index rose 1.69pc in July-November.

Published in Dawn, December 6th, 2017