Tuesday February 27, 2024

Weekly inflation barely budges, stays above 40pc

November 25, 2023

ISLAMABAD: The weekly inflation rate barely changed from the previous week, indicating persistent high inflationary pressures in the economy, official data showed on Friday.

The Sensitive Price Indicator (SPI) rose 41.13 percent from a year earlier in the week ending November 23, slightly lower than the 41.9 percent increase in the previous week, the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics data showed on Friday. On a weekly basis, the SPI fell 0.06 percent, after jumping 10 percent in the week ending Nov. 16. The SPI inflation has been in double digits since February 2021, reflecting the impact of a depreciating rupee, higher commodity prices, and higher energy tariffs. In the latest week, some food item prices were comparatively reduced while others increased, the PBS data showed.

Vendors are selling vegetables at a market in Lahore on March 26, 2023. — Online
Vendors are selling vegetables at a market in Lahore on March 26, 2023. — Online

The prices of garlic, onions, chicken, potatoes, and masoor pulse rose by more than 1 percent, while the prices of tomatoes, vegetable ghee, cooking oil, bananas, and eggs fell by less than 2 percent.

Over the past 10 weeks, the SPI showed a mixed trend over corresponding weeks. It stood at 26.25pc during the week ending September 14, followed by 38.66pc on September 21, 37.3pc on September 27, 37.07pc on October 5, 38.28pc on October 12, 35.45pc on October 19, 29.65pc on October 26, 29.88pc on November 2, 29.86pc on November 8, and now, at the week ending November 16, it has surged to 41.9pc. and Now at the week ending November 23, it recorded at 41.13 percent. As per the weekly bulletin, for the lowest income slab that earns up to Rs17,732/ month, the SPI inflation stood at 34.87 percent, while for the group spending more than 44,175/month, it was recorded at 38.98 percent.

For the week concerned, average prices of 18 items (35.29pc) registered an increase, 12 items (23.53pc) registered a decrease, while prices of 21 items (41.18pc) did not show any change, the SPI bulletin said.

In one week, major increases were observed in the prices of garlic 4.6 percent to Rs574/kg, onions 2.4 percent to Rs124/kg, chicken 1.8 percent to Rs372/kg, potatoes 1.7 percent to Rs111/kg, masoor pulse 1.01 percent to Rs230/kg. Similarly, LPG (11.67kg cylinder) price increased by 0.76 percent to Rs3,213, firewood 0.6 percent to Rs1123/40kg, wheat flour (20kg bag) by 0.54 percent to Rs2,841, matchbox 0.52 percent to Rs5.85/box, moong pulse 0.52 percent to Rs279/kg and plain bread price increased by 0.47 percent to Rs116/kg compared to preceding week. Likewise, mash and gram pulses, beef, and rice-IRRI-6/9 prices increased by less than half a percent.

Prices of some items decreased during the week including tomatoes by 5.78 percent to Rs159/kg, vegetable ghee 2.5 KG by 1.36 percent to Rs1350, cooking oil 5 Litre by 1.31 percent to 2,805, bananas 0.91 percent to Rs111/dozen, vegetable ghee 0.82 percent to Rs509/kg and price of eggs (farm) reduced by 0.33 percent to Rs334/dozen.