Inflation eases further to 8.2pc in May

ISLAMABAD: Continuing with its recent declining trend, the rate of inflation in the country further slowed to 8.22pc on a year-on-year basis (YoY) in May, Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS) reported on Monday.

Although the prices of some food items went up owing to the holy month of Ramzan, a significant reduction in prices of petroleum products helped the inflation to fall during the month under review.

According to PBS, the price of petrol reduced by 13pc in May.

As economic activities remained subdued due to the outbreak of coronavirus, the fall in inflation rate also slowed down in May. However, restoration of commercial activities by the mid of May helped ease inflation.

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PBS stated that the Consumer Price Index (CPI) of 8.2pc for the month of May was the lowest in the past 11 months (8pc in June 2019). The rate had surged to 14.6pc in January this year.

The inflation rate was recorded at 8.5pc in April 2020. On a cumulative basis, the rate of inflation in the country was recorded at 10.94pc during the first 11 months (July-May) of the current fiscal year (FY20), as against 6.69pc in the corresponding period of last year.

PBS calculates inflation by monitoring the prices of 356 commodities in 35 cities and 244 goods in 27 rural markets.

The Ministry of National Food Security & Research has already constituted a cell to look at various options to ensure the supply of food items amid coronavirus.

According to the PBS data, the overall inflation rate in urban areas eased to 7.3pc in May, while the same in rural areas stood at 9.7pc. However, food inflation increased in both areas.

Food inflation in urban areas grew from 10.4pc in April to 10.6pc in May. In rural areas, it surged from 12.9pc in April to 13.7pc.

Urban area food items that saw an increase in their prices included chicken (41.46pc), potatoes (31.19pc), fruits (9.72pc), milk (4.63pc), condiments & spices (3.71pc) and butter (2.58pc).

Similarly, the items that recorded a decline in their prices included onions (23.35pc), vegetables (19.62pc), eggs (18.74pc), tomatoes (7.74pc), pulse gram (7.25pc), pulse masoor (4.43pc), besan (4.38pc) and wheat (3.37pc).

In rural areas, food inflation was witnessed in potatoes (41.55pc), chicken (41.15pc), fruits (11.46pc), condiments & spices (8.60pc), pulse moong (4.36pc), milk (4.23pc), gur(2.75pc) and pulse mash (2.13pc).

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Ghulam Abbas
The writer is a member of the staff at the Islamabad Bureau. He can be reached at [email protected]
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