ISLAMABAD: Inflation perked up to 3.7 per cent in April from 3.2pc in the preceding month mainly because of increase in prices of perishable food items.

The inflation, measured through Consumer Price Index (CPI), crawled up in April after witnessing a declining trend in the past three months, according to data released by the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics on Wednesday.

The CPI tracks the prices of around 480 commodities every month in urban centres across the country.

In the outgoing fiscal year, the CPI-based inflation reached a peak of 4.6pc in December 2017.

The average inflation in the first 10 months (July-April) of 2017-18 was 3.77pc as compared to 4.09pc in the corresponding period last year. However, it remains below projected target of 6pc for 2017-18.

Food inflation fell 0.2pc on an annual basis but surged 1.5pc on a monthly basis. Prices of non-perishable food items went up 0.82pc while those of perishable products up 6.6pc during the month.

Food items whose prices increased the most in April were fresh vegetables, up 15.3pc, tomatoes 8.47pc, fresh fruits 5.76pc, chicken 4.34pc, sweet meat 4.01pc, sugar 3.3pc, betel leaves & nuts 2.1pc, meat 1.78pc, spices 1.68pc, condiments 1.66pc, dry fruits 1.54pc, jam & pickles 1.47pc, fish 1.46pc, beverages 1.42pc, tea 1.36pc and milk products 1.2pc.

In the same category, onions dipped 10.66pc month-on-month, potatoes 7.19pc, eggs 5.06pc, wheat 2.79pc, besan 1.38pc, pulse mash 1.37pc, gram whole 1.33pc, pulse masoor 1.13pc, wheat flour 0.69pc and wheat product 0.5pc.

On the other hand, non-food inflation was up 6.4pc year-on-year, and 2.1pc on a month-on-month basis.

The slight increase in the non-food inflation is mainly due to increase in global crude oil prices in the past few months and their impact was passed on to the consumers.

Core inflation, measured by excluding volatile food and energy prices, was recorded at 7pc year-on-year, and 2.5pc on a month-on-month basis. Core inflation has been steadily rising for the past couple of months.

The gradual build-up of domestic demand is evident in the rising core inflation. Of the 89 commodity groups of CPI, it covers the price movement of 43 items.

Published in Dawn, May 3rd, 2018

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