ISLAMABAD: Weekly inflation remained at an elevated level compared to a year ago, driven by high prices of onions, chicken, eggs, diesel and petrol, official data showed on Friday.

Short-term inflation, measured by the Sensitive Price Indicator (SPI), was 34.83 per cent year-on-year during the week ended on Feb 9, the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics said.

The items whose prices increased the most were onions (up 508pc), chicken (93.2pc), diesel (81.4pc), eggs (79.2pc), broken basmati rice (68.9pc), petrol (68.8pc), Irri-6/9 rice (68.3pc), moong pulse (66.3pc), tea (63.9pc), bananas (61.9pc), gram pulse (56.8pc), bread (50.7pc), LPG (50.4pc), mash pulse (50.3pc) and powdered salt (46.5pc).

The items whose prices fell the most included tomatoes (-57.8pc), powdered chillies (-12.4pc), and electricity charges (-12.3) for the first quintile.

The 34.83pc overall jump in prices is the highest annual rise since the week ended Sept 15, 2022, when the SPI inflation was 40.6pc.

However, the week-on-week change in prices showed short-term inflation eased to 0.17pc during the week compared to the previous reading of 2.82pc.

The SPI is calculated every week to gauge a change in the prices of essential commodities at shorter intervals. The index monitors the prices of 51 items based on a survey of 50 markets in 17 cities.

When compared to the previous week, the prices of 29 items increased, five items decreased, and 17 items remained stable.

The highest change was noted in the prices of potatoes (up 7.2pc), chicken (6.9pc), bananas (6.5pc), 1kg pack of vegetable ghee (5.7pc), broken basmati rice (3.8pc), Irri-6/9 rice (3.64pc), 2.5kg pack of vegetable ghee (2.71pc), 5kg pack of cooking oil (2.6pc), and mash pulse (2.42pc). The prices of mustard oil, garlic and moong pulse increased by 2.2pc each.

The five items whose prices dropped compared to the previous week were onions (-9.8pc), tomatoes (-5.4pc), eggs (-3.4pc), wheat flour (-2.7pc), and sugar (-0.31pc).

Published in Dawn, February 11th, 2023

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