Monday September 25, 2023

Weekly inflation posts biggest jump in six months

September 11, 2021

KARACHI: Prices of food and goods rose by 1.37 percent during the week ended September 9, the largest increase in six months, continuing a steady climb in inflation even as policymakers insist on staying the course.

Sensitive price indicator (SPI) increased 1.37 percent week-on-week and 13.64 percent year-on-year during the 7-day period ended September 9, 2021, Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS) data showed on Friday.

Inflation report said the rise was mainly on account of increasing food prices, including onions (23.35 percent), tomatoes (20.38 percent), chicken (7.67 percent), wheat flour (4.97 percent), eggs (3.83 percent), pulse masoor (2.04 percent), garlic and potatoes (1.34 percent) each, vegetable ghee 1kg (1.32 percent), soap (1.29 percent), cooking oil 5 litre (1.22 percent) and beef (1.11 percent). The joint impact of these was 1.34 percent into the overall SPI for the combined group.

“This is the largest increase since 2.4 percent in February 2021, when electricity tariff increased,” brokerage Ismail Iqbal Securities said in a report.

The brokerage expects September consumer price index (CPI) to clock in at 8 percent, “higher than the earlier expected range of 7-7.5 percent”.

PBS data attributes different weightages to the commodities in the SPI basket. The commodities with the highest weightages for the lowest quintile include milk (17.5449 points), electricity (8.3627 points), and wheat flour (6.1372 points).

The price of a 20kg bag of wheat flour went up by Rs57.85 WoW and Rs209.66 YoY to record at Rs1,222.07 this week, up from Rs1,164.22 last week and Rs1,012.41 during the same period last year.

Thus, with increase in prices of perishables as well as wheat flour and milk, the highest WoW impact was suffered by the first quintile, while the lowest change was faced by the highest spending group.

SPI for the groups spending up to Rs17,731; Rs17,732-22,888; Rs22,889-29,517; Rs29,518-44,175; and above Rs44,175 showed an increase of 1.60, 1.66, 1.57, 1.52, and 1.20, respectively.

For the week under review, SPI was recorded at 155.26 points against 153.16 points registered previously.

Decrease was noted in the prices of bananas (3.09 percent), LPG (2.59 percent), rice Irri (0.59 percent), pulse moong (0.44 percent), and sugar (0.28 percent).

SPI is computed on weekly basis to assess the price movements of essential commodities at shorter interval of time so as to review the price situation in the country. It comprises of 51 essential items and the prices are collected from 50 markets in 17 cities of the country.

During the week, prices of 24 items increased, 5 decreased, while prices of 22 items remained unchanged.

The YoY inflation increased 13.64 percent, showing an upwards movement from last week’s 12.53 percent.

The spike was on account of increase in prices of electricity for Q1 (46.55 percent), LPG (45.76 percent), vegetable ghee 1kg (40.71 percent), chicken (38.55 percent), vegetable ghee 2.5kg (37.26 percent), mustard oil (36.74 percent), cooking oil 5 litre (36.56 percent), chilli powder (35.71 percent), gents sandal (33.37 percent), and eggs (30.81 percent).

A major decrease was observed in prices of potatoes (26.32 percent), pulse moong (25.24 percent), and tomatoes (6.68 percent).