Inflation steady at 8.4pc in August

Published September 2, 2021
In this file photo, people buy vegetables from Karachi's Empress Market. — Photo by Shahab Nafees/File
In this file photo, people buy vegetables from Karachi's Empress Market. — Photo by Shahab Nafees/File

ISLAMABAD: Inflation remained unchanged in August for the second consecutive month of this fiscal year quashing the estimation that rise in petroleum products would take the figure up, showed Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS) data released on Wednesday.

Inflation measured through Consumer Price Index (CPI) remained at 8.4 per cent in August. It had started declining after surging to 11.1pc in April mainly driven by a drop in prices of agriculture products.

In 2020-21, the annual CPI inflation was recorded at 8.90pc against 10.74pc in the preceding year.

For the last two years the subdued production of sugar and wheat had been contributing to an increase in food inflation. On the other hand, the government has increased prices of petroleum products unprecedented, causing a rise in non-food inflation.

Food prices maintain bullish trend recording 10.2pc year-on-year spike

Food inflation is still at a higher level as in urban areas it jumped by 10.2pc in August on a yearly and 0.5pc on a monthly basis, whereas the respective price level growth in rural areas stood at 9.1pc and 0.8pc.The PBS data show that in urban areas, food items which saw an increase in prices in August from the previous month included tomatoes 17.84pc, vegetables 12.52pc, beans 5.09pc, milk 1.94pc, potatoes 1.84pc, vegetable ghee 1.75pc, sugar 1.36pc and cooking oil 1.11pc.

In urban areas the prices of chicken declined by 11.98pc, fruits 7.75pc, pulse gram 5.18pc, condiments and spices 2.75pc, pulse moong 2.35pc and eggs 1.64pc.

In rural areas, prices of vegetables went up by 17.35pc, tomatoes 7.40pc, onions 6.02pc, cooking oil 4.99pc, vegetable ghee 4.94pc, sugar 2.68pc, mustard oil 2.63pc, potatoes 1.91pc, meat 1.57pc and milk 1.05pc.

Meanwhile, non-food inflation in urban centres was recorded at 7.2pc year-on-year and 0.5pc month-on-month whereas in rural areas it rose by 7.7pc and 0.6pc, respectively. The increase in non-food inflation was mainly driven by a hefty rise in oil prices in August.

Core inflation in urban areas was 6.3pc in August as against 6.9pc the previous month. In rural areas, the corresponding increase was 6.2pc and 6.9pc, respectively. The central bank determines the key policy rate — currently at 7pc — based on the core inflation rate.

Average inflation measured by the Sensitive Price Index eased to 15.9pc during August from 16.6pc a month earlier, while the wholesale price index dipped to 17.1pc during the month under review from 17.3pc.

Published in Dawn, September 2nd, 2021

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