ISLAMABAD: Short-term inflation, measured by the Sensitive Price Index (SPI), surged year-on-year by 29.45 per cent in the week ending April 4 primarily due to an increase in petrol prices, official data showed on Friday.

It witnessed a 0.96pc week-on-week increase.

The real impact of the petrol price rise on essential commodities will be visible in next week’s review. However, transportation costs caused a slight increase in the price of perishable products.

The SPI has remained above 30pc for the past 18 weeks.

In March, the decline in SPI came after a consistent 11-week period of inflation above 40pc, which surged from 29pc recorded on Nov 8, 2023. The weekly inflation hit a record 48.35pc year-on-year in early May 2023, but then decelerated as low as 24.4pc in late Aug 2023 before surging past 40pc during the week ending on Nov 16, 2023.

The items whose prices saw the increase week-on-week included ladies sandal (12.52pc), tomatoes (11.93pc), gents sandal (8.70pc), petrol (3.45pc), chicken (2.99pc), long cloth (2.23pc), onion (1.30pc), bread (1.03pc), beef (0.75pc), garlic (0.70pc), mutton (0.41pc) and rice basmati broken (0.14pc).

The items whose prices decreased the most over the previous week included bananas (3.57pc), wheat flour (2.68pc), eggs and LPG (1.89pc) each, diesel (1.18pc), gur (0.63pc), sugar (0.41pc), mustard oil (0.26pc), pulse masoor (0.25pc) and potatoes (0.23pc).

However, on an annual basis, the items whose prices increased the most included gas charges for Q1 (570pc), onions (107.59pc), chillies powder (86.05pc), gents sandal (66.71pc), gents sponge chappal (58.05pc), garlic (53.51pc), tomatoes (35.77pc), gur (34pc), salt powder (32.78pc), energy saver (29.83pc), pulse mash (26.98pc) and tea prepared (23.34pc).

In contrast, the prices of bananas dropped 26.68pc followed by cooking oil 5-litre (20.53pc), vegetable ghee 1 Kg (17.61pc), vegetable ghee 2.5 Kg (17.28pc), mustard oil (14.22pc), wheat flour (5.86pc), diesel (3.61pc), and cigarettes (0.06pc).

The SPI stood at 326.29 compared to 323.20 in the preceding week and 252.06 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. Data showed that the prices of 16 items increased, those of 13 items decreased and those of 22 items remained stable compared to the previous week.

Published in Dawn, April 6th, 2024

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