Monday June 17, 2024

SPI inflation eases for second week as food prices retreat

By Israr Khan
April 27, 2024
A vendor weighs vegetables for a customer at a local market in Lahore. — AFP/File
A vendor weighs vegetables for a customer at a local market in Lahore. — AFP/File 

ISLAMABAD: The weekly inflation fell 1.1 percent in the week ended April 25, marking its second consecutive decline, as prices of essential items such as tomatoes, onions, and chicken dropped, latest data showed on Friday.

The Sensitive Price Indicator (SPI), which tracks prices of 51 essential items across 50 markets in 17 cities, declined 1.1 percent from the previous week, following a 0.79 percent drop in the prior week, according to data from the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS). The SPI rose 26.94 percent yea-on-year.

Out of the monitored items, 15 saw price hikes, 10 witnessed a decrease, and 26 remained stable over the week.

PBS data showed that significant decreases were recorded in prices compared to the previous week. These include a drop of 20.8 percent in tomato prices to Rs93/kg, onions by 14.4 percent to Rs170/kg, chicken by 11.6 percent to Rs456/kg, wheat flour by 4.9 percent to Rs2214/20kg bag, eggs by 4.45 percent to Rs245/dozen, chilies powder by 3.86 percent to Rs380/200gm packet, bananas by 3.3 percent to Rs158/dozen, and LPG by 2.22 percent to Rs3,181/11.67kg.

Conversely, certain items experienced price increases, with potatoes up by 1.8 percent to Rs79/kg, and powder milk by 1.3 percent to Rs842/kg. Similarly, vegetable ghee, mash pulse, sugar, gur, cooked daal, mutton, and shirting prices experienced marginal increases over the previous week’s prices.

For the lowest income group earning less than Rs17,732 per month, there was a weekly decrease of 1.3 percent, while the highest income group earning over Rs44,175 per month saw a fall of 1.02 percent. Yearly, the SPI for the lowest income group increased by 19.9 percent, while the highest income group recorded a rise of 24.53 percent.

Year-on-year, gas prices hiked by 570 percent for the lowest consumer slab, followed by a 122 percent spike in tomato prices.

Similarly, onion prices increased by 121 percent and chili powder by 76.5 percent.Conversely, year-on-year decreases in prices of some items were also noted. These include bananas, which became cheaper by 34 percent, 5-liter cooking oil by 21 percent, 2.5 Kg vegetable ghee by 18 percent, and 1 Kg vegetable ghee by 17 percent. Additionally, wheat flour prices decreased by 17 percent, mustard oil by 13 percent, eggs by 9.3 percent, and LPG by 7.2 percent.