CPI surges by 3.2pc in March

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KARACHI: The Consumer Price Index (CPI) has surged by 3.2 per cent on a year-on-year (YoY) basis in March 2018, as compared to an increase of 3.8 per cent in the previous month and 4.9 per cent in March 2017, the Pakistan Bureau of Statistic (PBS) said here Monday.

It claimed that on a month-on-month (MoM) basis, it increased by 0.3 per cent in March 2018 as compared to a decrease of 0.3 per cent in the previous month, and an increase of 0.8 per cent in March 2017.

CPI inflation may decline in April this year owing to the reduction in food inflation on the back of correction in prices of chicken, excess supply of onion and tomato crops, revision in petroleum and drugs prices.  The finance ministry decreased the prices of petroleum products all over the country for April 2018 as the international old prices have come down.

An analyst said, “The impact of currency devaluation is yet to occur again.” Analyst forecasts for the FY18/CY18, with inflation around 4.5-5.0 per cent/5.2-5.7 per cent, foreseeing a 75-100bps rate hike during the remaining period.

Core inflation measured by non-food non-energy CPI  increased by 5.8 per cent on (YoY) basis in March 2018 as compared to an increase of 5.2 per cent in the previous month and 5.3 per cent in March 2017. On (MoM) basis, it increased by 0.7 per cent in March 2018 as compared to an increase of 0.2 per cent in the previous month, and an increase of 0.1 per cent in the corresponding month of last year i.e. March 2017.

Core inflation, measured by 20 per cent weighted CPI increased by 4.1 per cent on (YoY) basis in March 2018 as compared to 4.3 per cent in the previous month and by 4.5 per cent in March 2017. On a (MoM) basis, it increased by 0.2 per cent in March 2018 as compared to an increase of 0.1 per cent in the previous month, and an increase of 0.2 per cent in the corresponding month of last year i.e. March 2017.

Sensitive Price Index (SPI) inflation on YoY decreased by 1.8 per cent in March 2018, as compared to an increase of 0.5 per cent a month earlier and an increase of 3.1 per cent in March 2017. On MoM basis, it decreased by 0.6 per cent in March 2018 as compared to a decrease of 1.2 per cent a month earlier and an increase of 1.8 per cent in March 2017.

The Wholesale Price Index (WPI) inflation on YoY basis increased by 3.6 per cent in March 2018, as compared to an increase of 4.1 per cent a month earlier, and an increase of 6.4 per cent in March 2017. WPI inflation on MoM basis increased by 0.2 per cent in March 2018 as compared to a decrease of 0.1 per cent a month earlier and an increase of 0.7 per cent in corresponding month

On Month on Month the prices of food Items increased including Betel Leaves and Nuts (22.25 per cent), fresh fruits (6.65 per cent), chicken (4.39 per cent), tea (3.12 per cent), fish (1.07 per cent), meat (0.92 per cent), cooking oil (0.48 per cent), dry fruits (0.45 per cent), rice (0.44 per cent), condiments (0.35 per cent), milk powder (0.28 per cent), jam and pickles (0.27 per cent) and milk products (0.21 per cent).

The prices decreased include tomatoes (20.06 per cent), onion (19.16 per cent), potatoes (8.53 per cent), fresh vegetables (7.33 per cent), eggs (7.26 per cent), gur (2.70 per cent), gram whole (2.46 per cent), pulse gram (2.11 per cent), pulse mash (1.80 per cent), besan (1.49 per cent), sugar (1.04 per cent), pulse moong (0.91 per cent), pulse masoor (0.71 per cent), wheat flour (0.62 per cent) and wheat (0.50 per cent).