CPI at 8.16pc in 8 months, core inflation inching towards double-digits

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ISLAMABAD - Inflationary pressure in Pakistanís economy measured by the Consumer Price Index (CPI) has been recorded at 7.04 per cent during February 2013 compared to the same period of the previous year. The rate of inflation in Pakistan remained within single digits during the ongoing financial year 2012-2013. However, the central bank also fears that the inflation could go up further in months to come but the average inflation for the ongoing financial year 2012-2013 is projected to remain between eight and nine per cent, well within the target of 9.5 per cent. The State Bank kept the policy interest rate unchanged at 9.5 per cent in its last monetary policy in the wake of rising inflation over the past two months. The SBP noted that CPI inflation had increased from 6.9 percent in November last year to 8.1 per cent in January this year. The core inflation is also inching towards a double-digit figure again after coming down to single digit.

According to the data released by the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS), inflation based on Consumer Price Index (CPI) was recorded at 7.04 per cent during the month of February compared to the same month of the preceding year.

The government has successfully kept the inflation rate in single digit figure during the first eight months (July-February) of the ongoing financial year 2012-13, as it was recorded at 8.16 per cent in period under review against corresponding period last year.

This broad-based deceleration in inflation is now expected to keep the average inflation for the fiscal year 2012-13 below the 9.5 per cent target for the year. Meanwhile, Sensitive Price Index (SPI) based inflation surged by 7.93 per cent and Wholesale Price Indicator (WPI) based inflation increased by 8.07 per cent during July-January period of the ongoing financial year 2012-13.

Meanwhile, according to the PBS figures, CPI based inflation decreased by 0.3 per cent in February 2013 against January.

The break-up of CPI-based general inflation (7.38 per cent in February 2013 over February 2012) showed that food and non-alcoholic beverages prices have gone up by 6.90 per cent, alcoholic beverages and tobacco prices have increased by 18.54 per cent, clothing and footwear prices soared by 15.72 per cent, housing water, electricity and gas fuels, 3.52 per cent, health care charges went up by 13.19 per cent, transportation charges 7.64 per cent, communication charges 5.14 per cent, recreation and culture charges went up by 16.97 per cent, education charges, 8.35 per cent and restaurants and hotel charges by 9.78 per cent and miscellaneous 8.59 per cent in February 2013 against the same month of the preceding year 2012.

Meanwhile, according to the PBS figures, price of onions has increased by 13.67 per cent in the month of February against January. Price of wheat products enhanced by 1.72 per cent, price of readymade food went up by 1.37 per cent, price of tea surged by 1.26 per cent, price of mustard oil increased by 1.08 per cent, rice price surged by 1.04 per cent, nimco price increased by 0.69 per cent, dry fruits price enhanced by 0.67 per cent, price of pulse masoor went up by 0.63 per cent and fish price surged by 0.58 per cent in February 2013 as compare to January.

Similarly, price of transport services increased by 2.25 per cent, price of firewood whole enhanced by 1.60 per cent, price of cleaning and laundry went up by 1.24 per cent, price of tailoring went up by 1.21 per cent, woolen cloth 1.17 per cent, washing soaps and detergent up by 1.04 per cent, cotton cloth 0.87 per cent, motor vehicles 0.85 per cent, plastic products and stationary 0.83 per cent each in February 2013 compared with the month of January 2013.

However, according to the PBS figures, price of eggs decreased 28.20 per cent, price of tomatoes went down by 13.19 per cent, prices of fresh vegetables went down by 12.89 per cent, prices of potatoes reduce by 8.47 per cent, price of chicken down by 4.89 per cent, spices prices decreased by 2.73 per cent in February 2013 against in January.

Courtesy: The Nation

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