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Sunday April 21, 2024

Weekly inflation index edges up amid mixed price trends

Combined Index was at 315.31 compared to 315.18 on Feb 15, 2024, while index was recorded at 241.29 year ago, on Feb 23, 2023

By Israr Khan
February 24, 2024
People buy vegetables at Weekly Market located in the Shadman area in Lahore on February 18, 2024. — PPI
People buy vegetables at Weekly Market located in the Shadman area in Lahore on February 18, 2024. — PPI

ISLAMABAD: The Sensitive Price Indicator based inflation rose 0.04 percent in the week ended Feb. 22, as food prices continued to climb amid higher fuel costs, official data showed on Friday.

The SPI increased 30.6 percent from a year earlier, according to data released by the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics, marking the lowest reading in thirteen weeks. The index, which tracks 51 items, showed that 23 items became more expensive, eight became cheaper and 20 remained unchanged.

The prices of tomatoes, bananas, diesel, chicken, petrol, sugar, mutton, beef, curd, pulse moong, firewood and georgette rose in the range of 0.14 percent to 22.71 percent, while the prices of onion, eggs, LPG, cooking oil, and wheat flour fell in the range of 0.36 percent to 14.42percent.

Prices of tomatoes increased 22.71 percent, bananas 7.40 percent, diesel 3.02 percent, chicken 1.22 percent, petrol 1.00 percent, sugar 0.87 percent, mutton 0.86 percent, beef 0.74 percent, curd 0.71 percent, pulse moong 0.54 percent, firewood 0.20 percent and georgette 0.14 percent.

The SPI data shows a week-on-week decrease in onion prices by 14.42 percent, making it the item with the largest drop. Eggs prices fell 11.19 percent, LPG 1.82 percent, cooking oil 5 Litre 0.75 percent, and wheat flour 0.36 percent.

The Combined Index was at 315.31 compared to 315.18 on February 15, 2024, while the index was recorded at 241.29 a year ago, on February 23, 2023.

The year-on-year trend showed that the prices of gas charges, tomatoes, chili powder, wheat flour, gents sponge chappal, gents sandal, sugar, gur, salt powder, garlic and energy saver increased in the range of 34.17 percent to 480.00 percent, while the prices of bananas, vegetable ghee, mustard oil, cooking oil, LPG and eggs decreased in the range of 5.33 percent to 17.73 percent.

Gas charges for Q1 increased by 480.00 percent, tomatoes 199.93 percent, chili powder 81.74 percent, wheat flour 65.29 percent, gents sponge chappal 58.05 percent, gents sandal 53.37 percent, sugar 50.84 percent, gur 48.96 percent, salt powder 39.97 percent, garlic 36.31 percent and energy saver 34.17 percent.

A decrease was observed in the prices of bananas 17.73 percent, vegetable ghee 1 KG 17.26 percent, mustard oil 15.98 percent, cooking oil 5 litre 13.66 percent, vegetable ghee 2.5 KG 12.02 percent, LPG 9.42 percent and eggs 5.33 percent.

The weekly SPI percentage change by income groups showed that SPI decreased across all three quantiles, while it increased across two quantiles. The lowest income group witnessed a weekly decline of 0.08 percent while the highest income group recorded a rise of 0.09 percent. On a yearly basis, analysis of SPI change across different income segments showed an increased across all quantiles ranging between 25.53 percent and 35.39 percent. Yearly SPI for the lowest income group increased by 25.53 percent while the highest income group recorded an increase of 28.22 percent.