Weekly inflation creates new record high of 47.23pc

Published April 20, 2023
Volunteers of the Edhi Foundation, a non-profit social welfare programme, arrange food plates for the people to break their fast along a road in Karachi, Pakistan April 3, 2023. — Reuters
Volunteers of the Edhi Foundation, a non-profit social welfare programme, arrange food plates for the people to break their fast along a road in Karachi, Pakistan April 3, 2023. — Reuters
People shop for fruits on a discounted price from the Saylani Welfare Trust’s stall, a non-government organisation focusing primarily on feeding the poor and homeless, in Karachi, Pakistan April 3, 2023. — Reuters
People shop for fruits on a discounted price from the Saylani Welfare Trust’s stall, a non-government organisation focusing primarily on feeding the poor and homeless, in Karachi, Pakistan April 3, 2023. — Reuters

Weekly inflation measured by the Sensitive Price Index (SPI) hit an all-time high of 47.23 per cent year-on-year (YoY) for the week ending on April 19 — driven mainly by a major increase in food prices — data released by the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS) on Thursday showed.

On a week-on-week basis, short-term inflation increased by 0.51pc as food items (potatoes, tea, bread, chicken, and rice) and non-food items (liquified petroleum gas, petrol and matchboxes) became costlier.

The SPI monitors the prices of 51 essential items based on a survey of 50 markets in 17 cities across the country. During the week under review, the prices of 29 items increased, eight decreased and 14 remained stable.

Last week, the short-term inflation was recorded at 44.61pc year-on-year, whereas for the week ending on March 22, it was recorded at an all-time high of 46.65pc year-on-year, which was surpassed today.

Last month, prices rose at the fastest pace ever in the country’s history according to available data, with food, beverage and transport costs driving inflation to a point where analysts feared “families will have to make choices and sacrifices”.

Meanwhile, monthly inflation, measured by a basket of products called the Consumer Price Index (CPI), jumped to 35.37pc in March year-on-year. It was the highest annual rate since available data, i.e. July 1965, according to the research firm Arif Habib Ltd.

The government has been taking harsh measures — hikes in fuel and power tariffs, withdrawal of subsidies, market-based exchange rate and higher taxation — under the International Monetary Fund (IMF) programme to generate revenue for bridging the fiscal deficit, which may result in slow economic growth and higher inflation in coming months.

Highest YoY rise

  • Cigarettes: 151.45pc
  • Wheat flour: 143.88pc
  • Gas charges for Q1: 108.38pc
  • Tea Lipton: 104.28pc
  • Diesel: 102.84pc
  • Potatoes: 98.74pc
  • Bananas: 98.42pc
  • Eggs: 97.80pc

Highest YoY fall

  • Tomatoes: 8.65pc
  • Chilli Powder: 6.48pc

Highest WoW rise

  • LPG: 4.75pc
  • Potatoes: 3.79pc
  • Petrol: 3.67pc
  • Tea Lipton: 3.61pc
  • Gur: 3.40pc
  • Bread: 2.48pc
  • Chicken: 2.00pc

Highest WoW fall

  • Tomatoes: 13.11pc
  • Onions: 4.62pc
  • Garlic: 3.59pc
  • Sugar: 1.52pc
  • Wheat flour: 0.93pc
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