ISLAMABAD: The annual short-term inflation slightly rose to 43.25 per cent in the week ending on Dec 28, primarily fuelled by a massive increase in gas rates, official data showed on Friday.

With the latest reading, the weekly inflation remained above 41pc for the seventh week in a row, according to the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics.

On an annual basis, the items whose prices incre­ased the most included gas (1,10­­­9­pc), cigarettes (93pc), chilli powder (81.7­pc), wheat flour (73.8pc), garlic (70.7pc), tomatoes (65.3pc), IRRI-6/9 and broken basmati rice (58.5pc), gents sponge chappal (58pc) and sugar (54.3pc).

In contrast, the prices of onions dropped 12.6pc year-on-year, followed by mustard oil (-5.2pc), vegetable ghee (1.14pc) and bananas (0.20pc).

The short-term, or weekly, inflation is measured by a basket of goods and services called the Sensitive Price Indicator (SPI), which stood at 311.14 compared to 310 in the preceding week and 217.20 a year ago.

The index, comprising 51 items collected from 50 markets in 17 cities, is computed weekly to assess the prices of essential commodities and services at shorter intervals.

On a weekly basis, the SPI inflation was recorded at 0.37pc. Data showed that the prices of 15 items increased, those of nine items decreased and those of 27 items remained stable compared to the previous week.

The items whose prices saw the highest increase week-on-week included onions (15.2pc), chicken (4.8pc), moong pulse (2.9pc), gram pulse (2.9pc), sugar (1.35pc), bananas (1.05pc), masoor pulse (0.78pc) and maash pulse (0.54pc).

By comparison, the items whose prices dropped the most over the previous week included potatoes (8.6pc), tomatoes (1.01pc), vegetable ghee (0.6pc), cooking oil (0.44pc), eggs (0.4pc), mustard oil (0.24pc), gur (0.19pc) and garlic (0.15pc).

The annual SPI inflation hit a record 48.35pc in early May but then decelerated to as low as 24.4pc in late August before surging past 40pc during the week ending on Nov 16.

Published in Dawn, December 30th, 2023

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