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October 24, 2020

SPI slips 0.23pc after 8 precipitous weeks

Business

October 24, 2020

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s weekly sensitive price indicator (SPI) declined 0.23 percent after eight weeks on joint impact of the drop in prices of some kitchen items, including chicken and wheat flour, official data showed on Friday.

SPI for the week ended October 22, inched down 0.23 percent over the previous week, while increasing 8.76 percent as compared to weekly inflation in the corresponding period a year earlier, Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS) reported. Last week, it was recorded at 9.2 percent.

PBS data showed that average prices of 14 items (27.45 percent) registered an increase, 11 items (21.57 percent) registered decrease, while prices of 26 items (50.98 percent) did not show any change.

SPI comprises of 51 essential items and the prices are collected from 50 markets in 17 cities of the country.

Data showed that major items to record a decline in prices included onions (4.75 percent to Rs70/kg), chicken (1.49 percent to 196/kg), wheat flour (1.31 percent to Rs1,035/20kg), gur (1.26 percent to Rs133/kg), and pulse moong (1.03 percent to Rs239/kg).

Less than a percentage point decline was also witnessed in prices of bananas (0.44 percent), sugar (0.39 percent), broken basmati rice (0.23 percent), garlic (0.14 percent), gram (0.03 percent), and pulse maash (0.02 percent) with joint impact of (negative 0.28) into the overall SPI.

In a span of one week, tomato prices increased by 1.57 percent to Rs135/kg, prepared tea 1.43 percent to Rs28/kg, potatoes 1.0 percent to Rs70/kg, LPG 0.73 percent to Rs1,326/11.67kg cylinder, rice-Irri 0.56 percent to Rs71/kg, and plain bread price went up 0.52 percent to Rs56/kg.

The year on year trend depicts an increase of 8.76 percent in SPI mainly on account of chilli powder up 86 percent, potato 54 percent, farm eggs 45 percent, tomatoes 36 percent, sugar 34 percent, pulse moong 32 percent, pulse mash 31 percent, pulse masoor 24 percent, farm chicken and gur 19 percent each, plain bread 18 percent, vegetable ghee, rice-irri 17 percent each, mustard oil 16 percent, wheat flour 14 percent, fresh milk 13 percent, beef and mutton 12 percent each, and cooking oil 11 percent.

A 200gm packet of chilli powder now costs Rs280 up from Rs150.29 during the same week last year.

Similarly, potato is now Rs70/kg up from Rs45/kg, and farm eggs are now Rs168/dozen from Rs116/dozen in the same week last year, PBS data showed.

Year-on-year price of diesel reduced by 18 percent, garlic 16 percent, LPG nine percent, onion and petrol eight percent each, and electricity of (lowest slab) reduced by seven percent.

During the last 10 weeks, the highest SPI reading was recorded at 11.28 percent on week ending on October 8, while the lowest reading of 8.39 percent was recorded at week ended August 28.

Having a cursory look at the SPI bulletin, the lowest income slab was the hardest hit compared to the affluent spending group. SPI for the expenditure group (quintile 1), spending up to Rs17,732/month was 11.37 percent, while for the group spending more than 44,175/month, it recorded at 7.56 percent.