February inflation rate slows down to 12.2pc

Despite a double digit increase in prices of essential kitchen items, fuel and electricity prices and rising imported inflation, Pakistan’s consumer price index in the month of February 2022 slowed down to 12.2 per cent which is the lowest rate in the past three months.

According to the national data collecting agency prices of tomatoes increased 191.72 per cent, chicken 11.61 per cent and vegetables increased by 10.69 per cent affecting every household across the country. 

The main reason behind the increase in prices was the jump in International market commodity prices and the devaluation of the rupee. 

The international oil prices touched $100 per barrel which have contributed to a sharp increase in global inflation. The surge in oil prices has hit the consumers globally either directly or indirectly.

All imported commodities such as wheat, sugar, cooking oil, crude oil and raw materials have been pushed upwards due to increase in international market prices and devaluation of the currency.

According to an analyst the inflation rate was above market expectations and expected to remain in double digits. However the month on month increase for the second consecutive month was concerning. The increase in month on month inflation figure is due to food inflation.

The year-on-year increase in prices has been due to perishable goods such as tomatoes and the increase in cost of transport owing to high petrol prices.

The PBS reported that the overall inflation rate slowed down in the urban area while it increased in the rural area. The inflation rate in urban areas dropped to 11.5 per cent in February and in rural areas rose to 13.3 per cent over the same month of the last year.

The food inflation rate in cities stood at 14.3 per cent and in villages and towns at 14.6 per cent, which was relatively higher than the previous month. Non-food inflation was recorded at 9.9 per cent in urban areas and at 12.2 per cent in rural areas.

Core inflation, which is calculated by excluding food and energy items, accelerated to 7.8 per cent in urban areas in February, reported the national data collecting agency.

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