ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s annual inflation rate surged to 7.19 percent in January from 6.17 percent a month earlier, the Bureau of Statistics said on Friday, the highest level in over four years.
The above-expectations jump in inflation comes after the central bank devalued the currency five times since December 2016, weakening it by 26 percent against the dollar during that period.
On a month-on-month basis, prices increased by 1 percent in January.
Rising liquefied natural gas and electricity prices as well as a spike in tomatoes, garlic and medicine were the main reason behind the January month-on-month inflation rise.
Weekly inflation for the week ended on January 31, for the combined income group witnessed an increase of 1.65 percent as compared to the previous week.
Sensitive Price Indicator (SPI) for the week under review in the above-mentioned group was recorded at 242.14 points against 238.21 points registered in the previous week, according to data of Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS).
Similarly, as compared to the corresponding week of last year, the SPI for the combined group in the week under review increased by 8.89 percent.
The weekly SPI has been computed with base 2007-08=100, covering 17 urban centres and 53 essential items for all income groups and combined.
Meanwhile, the SPI for the lowest income group up to Rs8,000 was also increased by 0.64 percent as it went up from 220.80 points in the previous week to 222.21 points in the week under review.
As compared to last week, the SPI for the income groups from Rs8,001-12,000, Rs12,001-18,000, 18,001-35,000 and above Rs35,000 also increased by 0.72 percent, 0.75 percent, 1.82 percent and 2.62 percent respectively.
During the week under review, average prices of 09 items registered decrease, while that of 15 items increased with the remaining 29 items’ prices unchanged.
The items which registered a decrease in their prices during the week under review included garlic, LPG Cylinder, eggs, potatoes, masoor pulse, sugar, vegetable ghee (tin), red chilly and moong pulse.
The items which recorded increase in their average prices included tomatoes, chicken (farm), bananas,onions, gur, milk (fresh), rice (irri-6), vegetable ghee (loose), mustard oil, beef, wheat flour (bag), tea (prepared), gram pulse, mutton and wheat.
The items with no change in their average prices during the week under review included rice basmati (broken), bread (plain), curd, milk (powdered), cooking oil (tin), mash pulse, salt (powder), tea (packet), cooked beef, cooked daal, cigarettes, long cloth, shirting, lawn, georgette, gents sandal, gents chappal, ladies sandal, electricity charges, kerosene oil, firewood, electric bulb, washing soap, match box, petrol, diesel, telephone local call and bath soap.