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Weekly inflation up by 30%

ISLAMABAD: The Sensitive Price Index (SPI), which tracks weekly inflation, increased by about 31% from the previous year due to sharp increases in the cost of food and a few fuel-related commodities.

The Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS) reported in its weekly report on the movement in prices of 51 basic products, collected from 50 marketplaces in 17 major cities throughout the nation, that the YoY trend showed a rise of 30.60 percent.

PBS reported that the SPI has been rising by double digits since February 2021, with very slight fluctuations between the fiscal years 2021–2022 and 2023–2023.
The SPI is calculated weekly to analyze the short-term price changes of vital commodities.

In light of the recent government decision to raise the costs of wheat flour, sugar, and ghee for sale through the Utility Stores Corporation (USC), in order to minimize the extent of untargeted food subsidies, the prices are expected to climb further in the upcoming week.

The cheapest onion and tomato costs are in Karachi, whereas flour is more reasonably priced elsewhere in the nation4.

The price index increased by around 1.1 percent for the week ending January 5, 2023, which was accompanied by sharp increases in the cost of several goods.

For instance, the price of onions increased by 501 percent, while the cost of chicken increased by 82.5 percent. When compared to the same period last year, it was also reported that the prices of wheat flour and tea had increased by more than 45 percent and 65. 41 percent, respectively.

Diesel prices reportedly increased by roughly 61 percent, eggs by 50.51 percent, powdered salt by 49.50 percent, gasoline by 48.21 percent, pulse moong by 47 percent, broken Basmati rice by 46 percent, bananas by 46 percent, and wheat flour by 45 percent.

On the other hand, due mostly to changes in the fuel cost base, the price of powdered chili decreased by 23 percent while the cost of electricity decreased by 14 percent.

The information revealed huge variations in the availability of basic goods in four provinces.

A 20 kg bag of wheat flour, for instance, was Rs2,880 in Hyderabad, Rs2,700 in Sukkur and Quetta, Rs2,600 in Peshawar, and roughly Rs1,295 in the majority of Punjab. However, the PBS noted that the national average price of flour varied from Rs1,295 in Punjab to Rs3,000 in Karachi.

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