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Weekly inflation soars to 41.54pc in Pakistan

ISLAMABAD: The weekly inflation rate, as determined by the Sensitive Price Indicator (SPI), increased by 2.78 percent to reach 41.54 percent on a yearly basis for the week that ended on February 23, up from 38.42 percent the week before.

Inflation week over week decreased to 2.78 percent from 2.89 percent a week ago. Of the 51 commodities monitored, 33 saw price increases, six saw price decreases, and 12 saw unchanged prices.

The items whose prices rose the most during the reviewed week compared to the same week a year prior were onions (up 372%), cigarettes (up 167%), gas (up 108.38%), chicken (85.7%), diesel (up 81.36%), eggs (up 75.81%), Irri 6/9 rice (up 75.41%), broken basmati rice (up 74.16%), bananas (up 72.22%), washed moong pulse (up 70.39).

Yet it also reported a drop in the cost of tomatoes (67.93%), chili powder (7.42%), and power for the first quarter (6.64 percent).

As Islamabad took action to receive the $1.1 billion IMF payment under the Extended Financial Facility, the inflation trend continued to rise.

In accordance with the requirements of the IMF, the federal government also passed a “mini-budget” that imposed new taxes totaling Rs170 billion to increase revenue.

The staff-level agreement between the fund and the government is anticipated to be finalized next week, according to sources.

Shehbaz Sharif, the prime minister, issued a warning earlier this week that inflation would resume when the IMF package was approved.

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