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Wednesday, May 22, 2024

Record-high inflation at 31.6%

Annual inflation, measured by the Consumer Price Index (CPI), rose to an all-time high of 31.55% in February, compared to 27.6% in the previous month.

According to data released by the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS), prices in urban and rural areas have increased 28.82% and 35.56% year-on-year respectively. The inflation for the month of February rose by 4.32% on a month-on-month basis. 

CPI has shown a sharp rise over the past several months, with annual inflation staying above 20% since June last year due to a massive increase in food and transport prices.

Read more: SBP prepones MPC meeting to March 2

Year-on-Year rise

The increase in inflation for February was driven by a double-digit rise in almost all sub-indices. The costs of transport have increased by 50.45% and the health sector experienced a hike of 18.78%. Food items have also experienced massive inflation as the prices of perishable and non-perishable food items increased by 47.59% and 44.68% respectively. Likewise, recreation and culture and restaurants and hotels are also blown by the economic downturn as the prices have now surged by 48.05% and 34.54% respectively. 

Furthermore, housing and utilities are also hiked by 13.58% and the education sector is surged by 10.79%. The prices of clothing and footwear are also increased by 16.98% and the communication sector is jacked up by 3.69%. 

Read more: Long queues outside Tim Hortons in Lahore trigger debate on inflation

The inflation figure for the month of February was higher than the estimated figure of 30% by the finance ministry. The ministry expects inflation to remain high due to political and economic uncertainties, currency depreciation, a rise in energy prices, and an increase in administered prices in February.

Moreover, the State Bank of Pakistan has preponed the monetary policy meeting on March 2 to revive the stalled IMF program. 

Read more: Weekly inflation jumps by 2.78%