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Friday, May 17, 2024

Weekly inflation jumps by 2.78%

Pakistan’s weekly inflation continued to rise by 2.78 % week-on-week and 41.54 % year-on-year during the week ended on February 23, as the government raised gas tariffs to unlock the IMF program.

The data released by the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS) showed a 2.78% weekly rise in the sensitive price indicator (SPI). The prices of 33 items increased, 6 items decreased, and 12 remained stable. The data suggested a week-on-week (WOW) increase in the prices of gas, cigarettes, bananas, chicken, sugar, cooking oil, and tea. 

WOW rise

During the week under review, the prices of onions increased up to 372%, cigarettes 164.7%, chicken 85.7%, eggs 75.81%, and bananas 72.22%. Similarly, the prices of pulses also increased to a greater extent. The rates of Irri 6/9 rice rose to 75.41%, broken basmati rice to 74.16%, and washed moong pulse to 70.39%. The price of cooking oil per 5 liters is increased by 3.07% and vegetable ghee per 2.5 kg is hiked by 2.79%. Likewise, petrol also experienced a price hike of 69.87%, gas tariff increased up to 108.38% and diesel is at 81.36%.

However, the prices of tomatoes decreased to 67.93 % and chili powder to 7.42%. The electricity charges for the first quadrant also declined by 6.64%. 

Read more: Weekly inflation spiked at 38.4%

Amidst economic uncertainty and political instability, Pakistan is in dire need of an IMF $ 1.12 billion economic bailout. As part of the extended fund facility program, the government almost doubled the gas price to Rs 295 compared to Rs 147.57. 

Moreover, the government had also approved a ‘mini-budget’, imposing an additional Rs170 billion in taxes to boost revenue generation in line with the preconditions of the IMF. The staff-level agreement between the Fund and the government is expected next week. 

Furthermore, economic experts and policy analysts had said last week that inflationary pressures would intensify as the government has taken tax measures and made price adjustments to unlock the IMF’s $ 7 billion program.

Read more: SPI based weekly inflation decreases by 8.11pc