ISLAMABAD: The short-term inflation hit a new high for the third week in a row as the retail price of petroleum products soared, according to official data released on Friday.
The short-term inflation, measured by the Sensitive Price Index (SPI), saw a year-on-year increase of 38.66 per cent for the week ending on Sept 21. This is the highest increase in three weeks because things are getting expensive every week.
After all, the oil price is going up. Oil prices have surged for the third consecutive fortnight under the caretaker government, triggering a hike in transport fares. The cost of moving goods has also risen due to the higher fuel prices.
The retail price of petrol was increased by 8.51pc and diesel by 5.54pc during the week under review.
To meet the local demand, Pakistan has been relying on imports of essential vegetables such as tomatoes, onions, potatoes and various others from Afghanistan. However, some relief was seen in the prices of tomatoes, and a few vegetables after the Torkham border with Afghanistan was reopened.
The short-term inflation remained elevated. It, however, rose 0.93pc from the preceding week.
Of the 51 items in the SPI basket, prices of 22 goods soared, 11 dropped and 18 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: electricity charges for Q1 (118.16pc), gas charges for Q1 (108.38pc), cigarettes (94.69pc), rice basmati broken (88.43pc), chillies powder (84.84pc), sugar (81.98pc), rice Irri-6/9 (81.04pc), wheat flour (73.70pc), gur (72.86pc), tea Lipton (65.28pc), gents sponge chappal (58.05pc), salt powdered (56.48pc), gents sandal (53.37pc), powdered milk (43.33pc) and garlic (43.10pc).
The biggest rise week-on-week was in the price of chicken (8.49pc), garlic (5.19pc), onions (3.02pc), shirting (1.81pc) and matchbox (1.42pc).
In May, the SPI stayed above 45pc for three weeks after hitting an all-time high at 48.35pc on May 4.
The rupee depreciation, rising petrol prices, sales tax and electricity bills are among the key contributors to this inflationary trend. According to the latest IMF forecast, the average Consumer Price Index (CPI) for the current fiscal year is projected to be 25.9pc from the previous year’s 29.6pc.
Meanwhile, a decrease was also observed on a week-on-week basis in prices of tomatoes (11.11pc), sugar (3.57pc), bananas (2.03pc), potatoes (1.89pc), wheat flour (0.77pc), gur (0.62pc), mustard oil (0.45pc), vegetable ghee 2.5 kg (0.31pc), cooking oil 5 litre (0.20pc), pulse gram (0.18pc) and tea Lipton (0.17pc).
Published in Dawn, September 23th, 2023