Weekly inflation witnesses surge of over 28% in Pakistan

November 23, 2022

Irfan Ahmed

The sensitive price indicator (SPI) based on inflation in Pakistan for the week ending on November 17 witnessed an increase of 28.67% as compared to the corresponding week of the last year, WealthPK reports.

Inflation in the preceding week was recorded at 29.24% on a year-on-year basis as prices of vegetables surged following the political uncertainty in the country.

On a week-on-week basis, inflation increased by 0.62%, mainly due to the high prices of perishable food items. The average inflation for the first four months of the financial year 2022-23 clocked in at 24.5% as compared to 8.73% in the same period of the previous fiscal.

According to the data released by the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS), an increase was observed in the prices of food items including onions by 319.35%, Lipton tea by 59.27%, pulse gram by 57.39%, powdered salt by

54.67%, pulse Moong by 51.24%, bananas by 47.28%, pulse Mash by 47.11%, pulse Masoor by 43.39%, mustard oil by 43.36% and vegetable ghee by 41.13%.

Among the non-food items, the price of diesel increased by 64.57%, petrol by 53.85%, sponge chappal for gents by 52.21% and washing soap by 44.67%.

On the other hand, the price of powdered chillies decreased by 41.42%, gur (raw sugar) by 5.81% and sugar by 4.27% while tariffs of electricity dropped by 2.67% and liquified petroleum gas by 0.38%.

According to the PBS data, the combined index increased to 217.82 points on November 17, 2022, as compared to 216.48 points on November 10, 2022, while the index was recorded at 169.29 points on November 18, 2021.

The SPI monitors the prices of 51 essential items based on a survey of 50 markets in 17 cities of the country. During the week, out of 51 items, the prices of 23 goods increased and that of 13 commodities decreased while the rates of 15 items remained stable.

Powdered salt was one of the key commodities that increased the weekly inflation, with its price surging by 7.61% on a week-on-week basis.

Compared to the previous week, the SPI for the combined consumption group in the week under review witnessed a slight increase of 0.62%.

Food commodities that saw a major increase in prices included powdered salt by 7.61%, Lipton tea by 5.90%, chicken by 4.89%, onions by 4.61%, eggs by 3.66%, potatoes by 2.48% and powdered chillies by1.30%.

Among the non-food items, the price of firewood by 6.23%, georgette cloth by 1.76% and energy savers by 1.32%.

On the other hand, the price of tomatoes decreased by 6.06%, pulse Masoor by 1.56%, pulse gram by 1.46%, vegetable ghee by 1.03%, pulse Mash by 0.68%, pulse Moong by 0.62%, cooking oil by 0.38%, vegetable ghee by 0.30%, garlic by 0.26% and wheat flour and LPG by 0.22% each.

The prices of 15 items including beef with bone, mutton, cloth, sandal for gents, sponge chappal for gents, sandals for ladies, washing soap, matchboxes, petrol, diesel and toilet soap besides charges of telephone calls, gas and electricity remained stable.

The SPI for the lowest consumption group up to Rs17,732 observed an increase of 0.96% and went up to 227.19 points from 225.03 points in the last week. On a yearly basis, SPI increased across all quintiles ranging between 26.89% and 29.73%.

Yearly inflation for the group with a monthly income from Rs29,518 to Rs44,175 increased by 29.73% while inflation for the highest income group with a monthly income above Rs44,175 recorded an increase of 28.94%.

Weekly inflation for the group with a monthly income from Rs22,889 to 29,517 increased by 0.72%.

There is a mild difference between the prices of items at utility stores and the open market. The prices of commodities at utility stores are comparatively less than that of the open market. The Utility Stores Corporation is giving a special subsidy to consumers on pulses, flour, sugar, rice, and ghee under the government’s relief package.

Economic experts told WealthPK that headline inflation remained elevated while core inflation continued its upward trajectory.

The government has reduced the price of a 20-kilogram bag of wheat flour by Rs715.87, tota basmati rice by Rs12.02 per kilogram, pulse gram by Rs0.90 per kilogram, sugar by Rs21.45 per kg, Manpasand ghee by Rs137.67 per kilogram, Handi ghee by Rs109.76 per kilogram and white gram by Rs8.15 per kilogram at utility stores.

Credit : Independent News Pakistan-WealthPk