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October 18, 2020

Commodities get pricey this week

Top Story

October 18, 2020

ISLAMABAD: Fuelled by exorbitant increase in food prices, weekly inflationary pressure on economy measured by Sensitive Price Index (SPI) was recorded at 9.2 percent at the week ended on October 15 over the corresponding week of last year, irritating millions of poor and fixed-income Pakistanis.

Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS) latest SPI snapshot that gauged weekly price volatility of 53 daily use items (mostly kitchen items) and its data is collected from 17 urban centres, revealing increase in prices of 25 items, decline in nine, and 17 remained unchanged. The SPI during the week under review witnessed an increase of 0.45pc over previous week.

Ironically, cost of living of millions of Pakistani citizens is going up because of skyrocketing inflation, while the ineffective governments (central and provincial governments) administration is without any clear-cut policy and even will, to bring the ‘elephant in room’, independent economists say.

High inflation is mercilessly pushing masses below the poverty line, eating up their purchasing power and leaving them with a little money to buy essential food items and fulfil their basic necessities.

In a span of one week, farm chicken price increased by 15.35 percent to Rs199/kg, egg by 5.84pc to Rs168/dozen, tomatoes 3.45 percent to Rs133/kg, LPG 3.24 percent to Rs1,317/11.67kg cylinder, sugar by 2.14 percent to Rs100/kg, rice-IRRI-6 by 0.6 percent to Rs71/kg, fresh milk 0.5 percent to Rs104/kg, wheat flour 0.4 percent to Rs1,049/20kg bag, ghee 0.37 percent to Rs247/kg and basmati price increased by 0.30 percent to Rs91.24/kg over prices of previous week.

Some items’ prices declined over previous week. Banana prices declined by 2.5 percent to Rs62/dozen, onions 2.30 percent to Rs73/kg, electricity 1.98 percent to Rs3.96/unit, potato 1.75 percent to Rs69/kg, garlic 1.12pc to Rs228/kg and Moong pulse prices down by 0.64 percent to Rs241/kg.

Similarly, the prices of the commodities that observed no change in prices during the week under review included bread, mutton, salt, chillies, cigarettes, shirting, lawn, georgette, gents sandal, ladies sandal, gas charges, firewood, petrol, diesel, telephone call and toilet soap. Year on year, during the week under review, the prices of chillies powder increased by 86 percent, potato 57 percent, tomato 55 percent, eggs 47 percent, pulse moong 38 percent, sugar 35 percent, pulse mash 34 percent, pulse masoor 23 percent, gur 19 percent, washing soap, bread, chicken, vegetable gee, match box each increased by 18 percent, wheat flour bag 17.37 percent and rice irri 16 percent over same week of last year.

However, a major decrease was observed in the price of diesel 18 percent, garlic 12 percent, LPG 11 percent, petrol 8 percent, electricity 7 percent, and onion 5 percent over same week of last year.