ISLAMABAD: Short-term inflation, measured by the Sensitive Price Index (SPI), is on the rise for the third week in a row ahead of the upcoming Eidul Azha, official data showed on Friday.

The SPI-based inflation increased 23.03 per cent year-on-year in the week ending June 13, mainly due to a price surge in vegetables, electricity and LPG.

The SPI also rose 1.30pc week-on-week.

The proposed indirect taxes in the budget 2024-25 are expected to drive inflation in the coming weeks. The price of pharmaceutical, stationery, and poultry products will surge due to 18pc sales tax.

Furthermore, the incre­ase in the prices of vegetables, particularly tomatoes and onions, would fuel inflationary pressure in the next few weeks.

The impact of falling petroleum prices on essential commodities will be neutralised due to costly vegetables and the imposition of sales tax on many essential sectors.

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 tomatoes (27.14pc), chicken (11.75pc), electricity for Q1 (8.73pc), pulse gram (7.19pc), LPG (6.14pc), eggs (3.70pc), bananas (3.22pc), beef (1.52pc), pulse moong (1.07pc), mutton (0.60pc), cigarettes (0.47pc) and energy saver (0.36pc).

The items whose prices decreased the most over the previous week included onions (5pc), chillies powder (1.95pc), rice basmati broken (1.65pc), garlic (1.32pc), rice IRRI (1.08pc), bread (0.52pc), wheat flour (0.05pc) and sugar (0.02pc).

However, on an annual basis, the items whose prices increased the most included gas charges for Q1 (570pc), onions (105.91pc), tomatoes (72.60pc), chillies powder (54.81pc), garlic (39.90pc), salt powder (30.56pc), shirting (30.52pc), gents sandal (25.01pc), pulse mash (23.85pc), beef (23.21pc), electricity charges for Q1 and pulse gram (21.46pc) each.

In contrast, the prices of wheat flour dropped 29.69pc followed by chicken (19.77pc), bananas (19.26pc), cooking oil 5 Litre (16.69pc), vegetable ghee 2.5 Kg (14.81pc), vegetable ghee 1 Kg (13.01pc), mustard oil (8.77pc) and tea Lipton (2.52pc).

The SPI stood at 313.93 compared to 309.91 in the preceding week and 255.17 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 19 items increased, those of 8 items decreased and those of 24 items remained stable compared to the previous week.

Published in Dawn, June 15th, 2024

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