Short-term inflation in Pakistan surges to 29.88 per cent; sugar prices still high

Islamabad: Short-term inflation in Pakistan has surged 29.88 per cent year on year in the week ending on November 2 due to the increasing prices of kitchen products, according to official data released on Friday, Dawn reported. Dawn is a Pakistani English-language newspaper.

The weekly inflation, measured by the Sensitive Price Index, also increased 0.71 per cent on a week-on-week basis. The SPI rate decelerated last week following a steady increase over five successive weeks.

The Pakistan caretaker government maintained the prices of petrol and high-speed diesel for the current fortnight, dashing the hopes of consumers who anticipated a significant reduction.

Ogra (Oil & Gas Regulatory Authority) has recommended a significant decline but the interim government has chosen to keep fuel prices unchanged at high levels.

Of the 51 items in the SPI basket, prices of 12 increased while those of 14 dropped. The number of items whose prices remained unchanged compared to the previous week was 25.

During the week under review, the items whose prices increased the most over the same week a year ago were gas charges for Q1 (108.38 per cent), cigarettes (94.46 per cent), chillies powder (84.11 per cent), rice basmati broken (78.08 per cent), wheat flour (76.51 per cent), sugar (62.60 per cent), rice Irri-6/9 (62.27 per cent), gents sponge chappal (58.05 per cent), tea Lipton (55.79 per cent), garlic (54.51 per cent) and gur (53.53 per cent).

The biggest increases week-on-week were seen in the prices of tomatoes (25.58 per cent), onions (25.25 per cent), chicken (10.79 per cent), potatoes (1.61 per cent), tea Lipton (1.58 per cent), eggs (1.30 per cent), garlic (0.50 per cent), rice basmati broken (0.19 per cent), georgette (0.28 per cent) and firewood (0.05 per cent), as per Dawn.

In May, the SPI stayed above 45 per cent for three weeks after hitting an all-time high of 48.35 per cent on May 4. The rupee’s depreciation, rising petrol prices, sales tax, gas bills and electricity bills are among the key contributors to this inflationary trend.

On a week-on-week basis, the prices of gur dropped by (2.66 per cent), banana (1.78 per cent), cooking oil 5-litre (1.62 per cent), vegetable ghee 1 kg (1.23 per cent), LPG cylinder (1.05 per cent), pulse masoor (0.93 per cent), wheat flour (0.62 per cent), washing soap (0.41 per cent) and mustard oil (0.32 per cent).

Meanwhile, the World Bank has warned that Pakistan is at a tipping point on poverty with 40 per cent of its population below the poverty line, The Financial Post reported.

The warning came ahead of the elections. The Bank’s policy note is meant to act as a guide for the new government that will take office after the elections for policy reforms.

Underlying the Bank’s suggestions for the future is the fact that over 12.5 million Pakistanis fell below the poverty line last year and are struggling to meet their daily needs. The latest statistics show that poverty rose from 34.2 per cent to 39.4 per cent. With more people falling below the poverty line of USD 3.65 per day income level.

(With inputs from ANI)


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here