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Friday June 21, 2024

SPI dips as staple prices cool down

By Israr Khan
March 30, 2024
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

ISLAMABAD: The weekly inflation, as gauged by the Sensitive Price Indicator (SPI), dipped marginally by 0.09 percent for the week ending March 28, primarily due to a fall in prices of essential kitchen items, official data showed on Friday.

The SPI recorded an increase of 29.41 percent over the same week of last year’s prices, the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS) data showed. Last week, the year-on-year SPI stood at 29.06 percent.

The SPI, a basket primarily comprising 51 kitchen items, showed notable drops in the prices of tomatoes, wheat flour, garlic, onions, and potatoes. Out of the 51 items, four witnessed price increases, 18 experienced decreases, and 29 remained stable throughout the week.

Tomato prices notably plummeted by 12 percent, with wheat flour down by 3.8 percent, garlic by 2.6 percent, LPG by 2.4 percent, onions by 1.74 percent, and potatoes by 1.1 percent compared to the previous week. Conversely, prices of chicken farm (live) increased by 4.9 percent, eggs by 1.6 percent, and shirting by 0.56 percent.

Year-on-year trends indicated significant price increases in various commodities, including a 570 percent surge in gas charges for Q1, 86 percent in chili powder, 79 percent in onions, 58 percent in men's sponge chappals, 53 percent in gents’ sandals, 52 percent in garlic, and 38 percent in chicken and gur.

However, decreases were noted in prices of some items, such as a 21 percent drop in 5-liter cooking oil, 18 percent in 2.5 Kg vegetable ghee, 14 percent in mustard oil, and 2.5 percent in diesel compared to the prices of the previous year. Likewise, salt powder prices increased by 33 percent, sugar by 32 percent, and mash pulse by 27 percent.

The lowest income group, earning less than Rs17,732 per month, experienced a weekly fall of 0.27 percent, while the highest income group, earning over Rs44,175 per month, recorded a fall of 0.03 percent. Yearly SPI for the lowest income group increased by 22.15 percent, while the highest income group recorded an increase of 26.58 percent.

The weekly SPI percentage change across all income groups indicates a decrease, ranging between -0.03 percent and -0.27 percent.

The lowest income group experienced a weekly fall of 0.27 percent, while the highest income group experienced a fall of 0.03 percent.

On a yearly basis, analysis of SPI change across different income segments showed that SPI increased across all quantiles ranging between 22.15 percent and 33.5 percent. Yearly SPI for the lowest Income Group increased by 22.15 percent while the highest income group recorded an increase of 26.58 percent.