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Pakistan inflation reaches five-year high

Dunya News

The inflation numbers have been mainly driven by the increasing prices of fuel and food.

KARACHI (Dunya News) – Inflation in Pakistan rose to its highest level for half a decade in March 2019, the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS) reported on Monday.

Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS) data showed that CPI inflation General increased by 9.41% on year-on-year basis in March, 2019 as compared to an increase of 8.2% in the previous month and 3.2% in March 2018.

On month-on-month basis, it increased by 1.4% in March 2019 as compared to an increase of 0.6% in the previous month and an increase of 0.3% in corresponding month i.e. March 2018.

Consumer Price Index by Group of Commodities and Services (Base 2007-08):

Source: PBS

Month-on-month Top few commodities which varied from previous month i.e. February 2019 are given below:

Food Increased: Onions (39.28%), Fresh Vegetables (24.43%), Tomatoes (18.83%), Chicken (15.88%), Pulse Moong (12.68%), Fresh Fruits (12.52%), Gur (2.88%), Sugar (2.74%), Beans (1.23%), Fish (1.18%), Spices (0.91%), Pulse Gram (0.60%), Vegetable Ghee (0.58%), Rice (0.41%), Pulse Masoor (0.31%), Bakery & Confectionary (0.31%), Cigarettes (0.27%), Wheat Flour (0.20%), Cooking Oil (0.18%), Tea (0.17%), Milk Fresh (0.17%) and Wheat (0.16%).

Decreased: Eggs (6.32%), Potatoes (5.00%), Betel Leaves & Nuts (2.09%), Gram Whole (0.70%) and Wheat Product (0.41%).

Non-food Increased: Text Book (3.95%), Cotton Cloths (2.30%), Medical Equipments (2.24%), Motor Fuel (1.54%), Kerosene Oil (1.51%), Household Servant (1.35%), Plastic Products (1.32%), Stationery (1.18%), Drugs and Medicines (1.16%), Construction Wage Rates (1.16%), Education (1.00%), Transport Services (0.97%), Personal Equipments (0.96%), Construction Input Items (0.79%) and Motor Vehicle (0.67%).

Decreased: Woollen Cloth (0.63%).

Year-on-Year: Top few commodities which varied from previous year i.e. March, 2018 are given below:-

Food Increased: Tomatoes (315.30%), Fresh Vegetables (28.18%), Pulse Moong (22.69%), Sugar (18.20%), Spices (17.66%), Gur (17.18%), Onions (15.85%), Honey (15.23%), Cigarettes (14.73%), Meat (13.33%), Dry Fruits (11.75%), Beans (10.09%), Pulse Gram (9.87%), Eggs(8.30%), Sweet Meat (8.28%), Milk Powder (8.07%), Fish (8.02%), Tea (7.87%), Condiments(7.43% ), Vegetable Ghee (7.18%) and Rice (5.11%).

Decreased: Betel Leaves & Nuts (37.02%), Potatoes (15.57%), Gram Whole (5.15%), Fresh Fruits (1.38%) and Chicken (1.20%).

Non-food Increased: Gas (85.31%), Newspapers (15.98%), Transport Services (15.35%), Cosmetics (13.56%), Personal Equipment (13.25%), Stationery (13.14%), Motor Fuel (12.99%), Utensils (12.64%), Plastic Products (12.21%), Construction Input Items (11.72%), Motor Vehicles (11.08%), Washing Soap & Detergents (10.88%), Motor Vehicle accessories (10.29%), Textbooks (10.06%), Household Servant (9.50%), Construction Wage Rates (9.43%), Electricity (8.48%) , House Rent (8.20%), Kerosene Oil (7.19%) and Education (6.12%)

PETROL PRICE HIKE

The report by PBS was released a day after the PTI-led government hiked fuel prices by up to 6.45 percent, as the country continues to face widening fiscal and current account deficits amid spiralling inflation.

On Monday, countrywide fuel prices increased to Rs98.89 ($0.70) per litre, with diesel prices at Rs117.43 ($0.83), a government notification said, hitting nine-month highs.

Earlier on Friday, the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) increased the country’s interest rates by 50 basis points to 10.75 percent, saying that the economy was uner considerable strain.

"The current account deficit remains high, fiscal consolidation is slower than anticipated and core inflation continues to rise," said a statement accompanying the announcement.

As a result, the central bank has pared back its expected annual GDP growth rate projection from around 6 percent to 3.5 percent.