Weekly inflation up 1.24pc due to increase in essential food items prices

Updated 09 Oct 2020

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The Sensitive Price Index (SPI) is calculated based on the prices of 51 essential items from 50 markets across 17 cities of the country. — Dawn/File
The Sensitive Price Index (SPI) is calculated based on the prices of 51 essential items from 50 markets across 17 cities of the country. — Dawn/File

Weekly inflation for the combined group in the period ended on October 8 increased by 1.24 per cent on the back of an uptick in prices of essential food items, data released by the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS) showed on Friday.

The PBS calculates the Sensitive Price Index (SPI) based on the prices of 51 essential items from 50 markets across 17 cities of the country.

For the lowest income group earning below Rs17,732 per month, the SPI increased by 1.56pc, while the SPI for the highest-earning group i.e. those earning above Rs44,175, recorded an increase of 1.08pc.

Items that witnessed a price increase during the week included: tomatoes, up 16.39pc; onions, up 12.78pc; eggs 10.78pc; chicken 5.34pc; wheat flour bag 2.78pc; potatoes 2.64pc; moong pulse 1.21pc; and sugar 1.03pc.

Meanwhile, the prices of non-food items remained unchanged over the week.

Items whose prices declined during the week included bananas, down 2.17pc; mash pulse 0.19pc; and gur 0.04pc.

It is worth mentioning that the Consumer Price Index (CPI) inflation during the month of September accelerated by 9.04pc — above expectations — on the back of an increase in food inflation.

Arif Habib Ltd (AHL), in its analysis on the September inflation, had noted that the uptick in food prices was likely to be short-lived due to an expected reversal in volatile food prices — staple goods mainly — on improving supply post-monsoon season and resumption of logistics following the easing of the coronavirus lockdown.

Moreover, AHL analysts said the lower international oil prices would also ease pressures on inflation’s energy component.