Sunday December 03, 2023

Weekly inflation rises 0.73pc on higher food prices

November 11, 2023
A vendor can be seen selling fresh vegetables. — AFP/File
A vendor can be seen selling fresh vegetables. — AFP/File

KARACHI: Rise in food prices, particularly wheat flour pushed weekly inflation up 0.73 percent week-on-week and 29.86 percent year-on-year for the seven-day period ended November 9, data showed on Friday.

Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS) attributed the increase in the sensitive price indicator (SPI) inflation to the rise in the prices of tomatoes (15.43 percent), potatoes (4.47 percent), wheat flour (2.36 percent), garlic (2.16 percent), salt (1.82 percent), chicken (1.60 percent), tea (0.96 percent), georgette (0.95 percent), banana (0.94 percent) and shirting (0.58 percent).

On the other hand major decrease was observed in the prices of gur (2.43 percent), vegetable ghee 1kg (0.36 percent), rice irri 6/9 (0.34 percent), vegetable ghee 2.5kg (0.25 percent), broken basmati rice (0.13 percent), cooking oil 5 litre (0.13 percent), pulse mash (0.12 percent), and pulse moong (0.5 percent).

For the week under review, SPI was recorded at 281.12 points against 279.08 points registered last week and 216.48 points recorded during the week ended November 11, 2022. PBS compiles SPI via collecting prices of 51 essential items from 50 markets in 17 cities of the country.

During the week, out of 51 items, prices of 20 (39.22 percent) items increased, 8 (15.69 percent) items decreased and 23 (45.09 percent) items remained stable. People are struggling when it comes to food and energy prices.

A vegetable vendor in a market of Karachi said that prices of tomatoes, onions and other food items fluctuated every season, but the affordability of consumers had never been as affected as it was now. He said that he often was left with rotten food items because of poor sales.

“On Wednesday, I was selling tomatoes for Rs240/kg, despite poor quality. On Thursday, the price dropped to Rs200/kg and it is the same today (Friday),” he added.

As per PBS data, price of tomatoes stood between Rs180 and Rs240 in Karachi, with average price at Rs203.67/kg. High commodity prices have been taking a toll on low and middle income groups.

Wheat flour, which holds 6.1372 percent weight for the lowest expenditure group also went up by Rs63.59 to stand at Rs2,753.20/20kg. Last week, the price of the essential commodity was Rs2,689.61/20kg whereas it was Rs1519.14/20kg during the same week last year.

For the groups spending up to Rs17,732; Rs17,733-22,888; Rs22,889-29,517; Rs29,518-44,175; and above Rs44,175; YoY SPI now stands at 28.51, 28.74, 30.23, 30.19, and 29.88 percent, respectively.

PBS data showed that the highest increase in SPI was the highest for those spending Rs22,889-29,517, while the lowest impact was witnessed by those spending up to Rs17,732.

As per PBS data, YoY SPI trend depicts an increase of 29.86 percent because of a hike in prices of gas charges for Q1 (108.38 percent), cigarettes (94.46 percent), chilli powder (84.11 percent), wheat flour (81.23 percent), broken basmati rice (77.93 percent), rice irri-6/9 (60.65 percent), garlic (58.23 percent) gents sponge chappal (58.05 percent), sugar (57.57 percent), gents sandal bata (53.37 percent), salt (53.02 percent) and gur (50.88 percent).

A decrease was observed in the prices of onions (32.27 percent), tomatoes (9.08 percent), mustard oil (3.88 percent), pulse gram (2.80 percent), and vegetable ghee 1kg (1.69 percent).