ISLAMABAD: Weekly inflation for the combined group in the period ended on Feb 25 increased by 2.41 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 week-on-week change is the highest in the current month. Since January, an upward movement was noted in the prices of essential kitchen items despite the government’s claims that prices of consumer items prices were declining.
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 6.65pc, while for those who are earning above Rs44,175, it recorded an increase of 1.47pc.
This was mainly due to rising prices of food items including bananas (4.25pc), pulse gram (2.43pc), chicken (2.14pc), potatoes (1.39pc), mustard oil (1.39pc), ghee 2.5kg (1.14pc) and tea prepared (1.08pc).
Electricity charges see 65pc increase
Among non-food items, prices of electricity and long cloth saw an increase of 64.59pc and 2.96pc, respectively.
The items whose prices declined during the week included tomatoes (6.04pc), onions (2.42pc), LPG (2.03pc), gur (0.15pc) and firewood (0.01pc).
During the week, out of 51 items, prices of 25 items increased, for five items a decrease was recorded while rates for 21 items remained constant.
Contrary to this trend, the month of January saw a deeper deceleration in the prices of consumer products as inflation eased to 5.7pc from 8pc in Dec 2020. On a month-on-month basis, inflation decreased by 0.21pc mainly due to a drop in prices of tomatoes, potatoes, onions and a few other vegetables following the arrival of domestic crop in the market.
The National Price Monitoring Committee in its last meeting also directed the Ministry of Industries and Production to look into rising prices of ghee and cooking oil.
Published in Dawn, February 27th, 2021