Inflation rate rises to 13.37 per cent despite freezing fuel, electricity prices

ISLAMABAD - Inflation rate was recorded at higher side of 13.37 per cent in April 2022 despite freezing the fuel and electricity prices.
Inflation rate has increased beyond ministry of finance’s projection and gone up above 13pc in April. The ministry in its monthly report had warned that inflation would remain on the higher side in April. It was expected that inflation for the month of April may remain within a range of 11.5 to 12.5pc. International commodity prices, especially oil and food prices are the main external contributors. Further, exchange rate fluctuations and the holy month of Ramazan have also affected domestic prices.
Inflation rate was recorded 12.7pc in March, but it has once again jumped to higher side to 13.37pc in April despite the continuation of the relief package by the previous government. According to the latest data of Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS), inflation measured through Consumer Price Index (CPI) was recorded at 13.37pc in April. The CPI inflation for urban areas has increased by 12.23pc on year-on-year basis in April 2022. Meanwhile, CPI inflation for rural areas has enhanced by 15.09pc on year-on-year basis. On month-on-month basis, it has increased by 1.61pc in April 2022.
The latest PBS data showed that the CPI-based inflation was recorded at 11.04pc in first 10 months (July to April) of the current fiscal year 2021-22. The Sensitive Price Index (SPI), which gauges rates of kitchen items on weekly basis, increased by 17.26 percent. Similarly, the WPI based inflation enhanced by 22.27 percent in the period under review.
The break-up of inflation of 13.37pc showed that food and non-alcoholic beverages prices increased by 17.04pc in April. Similarly, health and education charges went up by 10.37pc and 8.36pc, respectively. Similarly, prices of utilities (housing, water, electricity, gas and fuel) increased by 7.05pc during the last month. Meanwhile, the prices of alcoholic beverages and tobacco went up by around 5.11pc. Prices of clothing and footwear increased by 10.84pc and furnishing and household equipment maintenance charges 14.66pc. Recreational charges and those related to culture went up by 9.65pc in the period under review, while amounts charged by restaurants and hotels by 14.57pc in April 2022 as compared to the same month last year.
In urban areas, the food items which saw their prices increased during April 2022 included tomatoes (51.53pc), fruits (21.07pc), mustard oil (2.31pc), vegetable ghee (8.26pc), onions (42.83pc), cooking oil (11.35pc), gram whole (5.67pc), meat (3.45pc), milk (1.27pc), potatoes (1.43pc) and pulse Masoor (1.13pc). The prices of chicken in urban area decreased by (9.4pc), Gur (1-23pc) and sugar (0.70pc). In non-food commodities, the prices of following items increased: tailoring (6.37pc), motor vehicles (5.42pc), hosiery (4.41pc), household equipments (3.88pc), cotton cloth (2.05pc), construction input items (1.84pc), readymade garments (1.37pc), washing soap/detergents/match box (1.36pc) and furniture & furnishing (0.95pc). Electricity Charges decreased by (7.84pc), liquefied hydrocarbons (3.75pc) and solid fuel (1.00pc).
In rural areas, prices of following commodities increased including tomatoes (62.18pc), onions (50.38pc), fruits (26.47pc), vegetables (6.27pc), vegetable ghee (5.60pc), gram whole (5.48pc), beans (3.64pc), pulse Masoor (2.98pc), rice (2.72pc), cooking oil (2.54pc), mustard oil (2.46pc), meat (2.41pc), Besan (2.27pc) and pulse Maash (1.17pc). The prices of chicken in rural area decreased by (9.26pc), eggs (4.51pc), wheat (2.44pc), pulse Moong (1.52pc) and sugar (1.48pc).

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