Short-term inflation stays above 48pc for second week in a row

Published May 13, 2023
Food prices maintained a bullish trend with the biggest week-on-week increase in tomatoes, followed by gur, wheat flour, potatoes, powdered milk, eggs, rice, pulse masoor, beef, etc.—White Star / file
Food prices maintained a bullish trend with the biggest week-on-week increase in tomatoes, followed by gur, wheat flour, potatoes, powdered milk, eggs, rice, pulse masoor, beef, etc.—White Star / file

ISLAMABAD: Short-term inflation, based on the Sensitive Price Index (SPI), remained elevated at 48.02 per cent for the week ended on May 11, off­i­cial data showed on Friday.

The year-on-year rise remained above 48pc for the second consecutive week. The SPI rose by an all-time high of 48.35pc for the period ending on May 4. Wheat flour, sugar, meat, pulses and vegetables are getting costlier.

However, on a week-on-week basis, it posted a rise of 0.27pc.

The SPI has steadily been on the rise since the start of Ramazan due to continued rupee devaluation, costly petrol prices, increase in sales tax and higher electricity charges.

Of the 51 items in the SPI basket, prices of 23 goods soared, seven dropped and 21 remained unchanged compared to the previous week.

During the week under review, the items whose pri­ces increased the most over the same week a year ago were: potatoes (112.80pc), gas char­g­es for Q1 (108.38pc), tea Lipton (106.09pc), wheat flour (101.20pc), gents sponge ch­a­ppal (100.33pc), diesel (99.39pc), bananas (98.22pc), rice basmati broken (90.76pc), eggs (89.40pc), petrol (87.81pc), rice irri-6/9 (83.47pc), pulse moong (66.91pc), bread (62.83pc) and pulse mash (58.79pc).

On a week-on-week basis, the biggest rise was observed in the prices of tomatoes (6.32pc), gur (3.41pc), wheat flour (2.76pc), tea prepared (2.66pc), potatoes (2.14pc), cooked beef (2.12pc), cooked daal (1.98pc), powdered milk (1.91pc), eggs (1.83pc), rice basmati broken (1.42pc), pulse masoor (1.19pc), beef (1.18pc) and washing soap (1.04pc).

According to a finance ministry report, the lower-income segment of society is already feeling the brunt of high inflation, which has become unrelenting on the back of political instability, financial mismanagement and delay in an agr­e­e­ment with the Interna­tional Monetary Fund.

Slow recovery from the flood-led damages had caused the supply of essential crops to remain short of domestic requirements, consequently intensifying inflation, the report added.

On the other hand, the State Bank of Pakistan was enacting a contractionary monetary policy, “but inflationary expectations are not settling down”, the report noted.

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 IMF progra­m­me to generate revenue for bri­d­ging the fiscal deficit, which may result in slow economic growth and hig­her inflation in coming months.

Published in Dawn, May 13th, 2023

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