CPI increase in Pakistan highest since July 1965

Ineffective policy measures contributing to Pakistan's inflation woes

ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS) has reported that the Consumer Price Index (CPI) has reached an all-time high of 35.37% year-on-year (YoY) in March, according to data released on Saturday.

This is the highest CPI increase since July 1965, as per Arif Habib Corporation. The PBS data shows that prices in urban and rural areas increased by 32.97% and 38.88% YoY, respectively.

The short-term rate of inflation measured by the Sensitive Price Indicator (SPI) last week hit a record 46.65%, while monthly inflation recorded by the CPI reached 31.6% in February, the highest in six decades.

The Finance Ministry has forecasted that inflation will rise further due to policy decisions made earlier to raise energy and fuel prices, the central bank’s policy rate, and the depreciation of the rupee to secure IMF funding.

The Economic Adviser’s Wing of the finance ministry has also acknowledged ineffective policy measures and the government’s inability to control inflation. It has warned that bulk buying during Ramazan might cause a demand-supply gap and result in the escalation of essential items’ prices.

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