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Weekly inflation surges to 43.25pc y/y as food prices skyrocket

By Israr Khan
December 30, 2023

ISLAMABAD: Weekly inflation rose by 0.37 percent in the week ending December 28, driven by higher prices of food items such as onions, chicken, sugar, and pulses, official data showed on Friday.

A vendor can be seen selling fresh vegetables.—AFP/File
A vendor can be seen selling fresh vegetables.—AFP/File

The Sensitive Price Indicator (SPI), which tracks the prices of 51 essential items, increased to 43.25 percent year-on-year, compared with 42.6 percent in the previous week, according to the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS).

In a week, the onion price increased by 15.2 percent to Rs188/kg, chicken farm (live) 4.76 percent to Rs359/kg, moong pulse 2.9 percent to Rs295/kg, gram pulse 2.89 percent to Rs247/kg, sugar 1.35 percent to Rs144/kg, bananas 1.05 percent to Rs116/dozen, masoor pulse 0.78pc to 338/kg and mash pulse price increased by 0.54 percent to Rs5434/kg.

On the contrary, major decreases were observed in the prices of potatoes 8.66 percent to Rs70/kg, tomatoes 1.01 percent to Rs107/kg, vegetable ghee 2.5 KG 0.61 percent to Rs1322, cooking oil 5 Litre 0.44 percent to Rs2,777, Eggs 0.40 percent to Rs387/dozen and mustard oil reduced by 0.24 percent to Rs503/kg. According to the data, prices of 15 items (29.41pc) increased, nine items (17.65pc) decreased, and 27 items (52.94pc) remained stable during the week. As per the inflation bulletin, for individuals in the lowest income slab, earning up to Rs17,732 per month, the SPI inflation stood at 35.75 percent, while for those in the group spending more than Rs44,175 per month, it was recorded at 41.6 percent. For the middle quintile (Rs22,889 to Rs29,517), the weekly inflation was at 46.99 percent— the highest among all groups.

In a year, gas prices have increased by 1108.6 percent (or Rs1,569.4/MMBtu) for those consuming up to 3.3719 MMBtu. Besides, cigarette capstan price increased by 93 percent, chilies powder by 82 percent, wheat flour bag (20kg) by 74 percent, garlic 71pc, tomatoes 65 percent, rice basmati broken and Rice irri-6/9 prices increased by 58 percent each.

Apart from this, gents sponge chappal were costlier by 58 percent, sugar 54 percent, gents sandal 53 percent, gur 48 percent, mash pulse 44.6 percent, salt powdered 42 percent, potatoes 40.5 percent, tea Lipton 39 percent, eggs 38 percent, tea prepared 35.6 percent, energy saver 35 percent, shirting 33 percent, plain bread 32 percent, masoor pulse 30 percent, powdered milk 29 percent, LPG 11.67kg cylinder 26 percent, petrol super, curd, cooked beef and toilet soap each 25 percent. Fresh milk, long cloth, and matchbox prices also increased by 24 percent each. Washing soap, diesel, and lawn printed prices increased 21 percent each. Mutton and beef prices increased 19 percent, moong pulse by 18 percent, ladies' sandal by 14 percent, electricity charges for Q1 10 percent, and firewood, chicken, and gram pulse were costlier by 9 percent each. However, onion prices were 13 percent and mustard oil 5 percent less than last year.