After three consecutive weeks of a declining trend, inflation has once again started to rise across the country, with the annual rate increasing to 30.62 per cent in the past week.
The Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS), in its weekly inflation report, revealed that the prices of 20 commodities increased. The rates of 10 merchandises decreased and those of 21 remained stable. According to PBS, in the recent week, onion prices went up by 47.77 percent. Tomato prices rose by 30.29 percent, tea became expensive by 2.50 percent. The price of bread increased by 1.74 percent. Moreover, washing soap also became dearer by 1.13 percent.Inflation jumped 0.94 percent week over week, according to data issued by the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics on Friday.
Based on a survey of 50 markets in 17 cities around the country, the SPI monitors the pricing of 51 key commodities. During the week, the prices of 20 products increased, 10 items decreased, and 21 items remained constant.
Severe economic and humanitarian crisis
The finance ministry said Pakistan was facing a severe economic and humanitarian crisis due to the devastating floods this year. It noted that food inflation was not only a domestic issue as prices had risen internationally. It added, however, that the floods had exacerbated the domestic situation.
“Pakistan’s external environment faces rising challenges. Recent floods brought on by extremely strong monsoon rains have negatively impacted crops, altering the economic outlook mostly through agriculture performance.”
Measures taken by Government
The government was alleviating the effects of the rupee’s depreciation and agricultural destruction by prompt measures, including countering price speculation and providing sufficient supplies by allowing trade from neighbouring countries, it said.
“Still, the risk of second-round effects of recent inflationary shocks persists which may work themselves through the markets. It can also be observed that in recent years, the month of August shows a positive seasonality in the MoM (month-on-month) inflation rate. All in all, September may show a halt to the recent drastic accelerations of the YoY inflation rate,” it added.