Annual inflation, measured by the Consumer Price Index (CPI), soared to a record high of 31.55 per cent in February, compared to 27.6pc in the previous month, driven by massive increases in food and transport prices.

According to Arif Habib Corporation, this is the highest-ever CPI increase based on data available from July 1965.

In February 2022, inflation clocked in at 12.2pc.

According to data released by the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS), prices in urban and rural areas increased 28.82pc and 35.56pc year-on-year respectively.

On a month-on-month basis, inflation rose 4.32pc.

Consumer prices have risen sharply over the past several months, with annual inflation staying above 20pc since June last year.

In February, the increase in inflation was driven by a double-digit rise in all sub-indices except one.


Index-wise increase in inflation YoY:

  • Transport: 50.45pc
  • Alcoholic beverages and tobacco: 49.2pc
  • Recreation and culture: 48.05pc
  • Perishable food items: 47.59pc
  • Non-perishable food items: 44.68pc
  • Restaurants and hotels: 34.54pc
  • Furnishing and household equipment maintenance: 34.04pc
  • Miscellaneous goods and services: 33.29pc
  • Health: 18.78pc
  • Clothing and footwear: 16.98pc
  • Housing and utilities: 13.58pc
  • Education: 10.79pc
  • Communication: 3.69pc

The inflation figure is higher than the Ministry of Finance’s forecast of 30pc.

CPI-based inflation on a year-on-year basis will be 28-30pc in coming months, the ministry had said in its monthly economic update & outlook for February, adding that the recent political and economic uncertainties were pushing up inflationary expectations.

The ministry expects inflation to remain high due to the uncertain political and economic environment, pass-through of currency depreciation, rise in energy prices and increase in administered prices in February.

Although the State Bank of Pakistan has been enacting contractionary monetary policy, the inflationary expectation would take some time to settle. The Centre, in liaison with provincial governments, is closely monitoring the demand-supply gap of essential items and taking necessary measures to stabilise their prices, the report added.

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