ISLAMABAD - Inflation measured through the Sensitive Price Indicator (SPI) has recorded minor increase of 0.04 per cent during the week ended on March 3.

SPI-based inflation recorded an increase of 0.04 percent during the week ended on March 3, according to the latest data of Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS). The SPI was recorded at 170.53 points during the week ended March 3, 2022 against 170.47 points during the week ended on February 24.

The year on year trend, according to the PBS data, recorded increase of 15.23 percent, in tomatoes (241.95 percent), LPG (71.48 percent), garlic (57.88 percent), mustard oil (53.22 percent), cooking oil 5 litre (44.91 percent), vegetable ghee 1 kg (44 percent), vegetable ghee 2.5 kg (43.21 percent), washing soap (36.95 percent), pulse Masoor (34.81 percent), petrol (33.42 percent), beef (25.05 percent) and diesel (23.75 percent). Meanwhile, major decrease was observed in the prices of following items: chillies powdered (36.30 percent), pulse Moong (30.23 percent), eggs (8.70 percent), sugar (8.19 percent), potatoes (7.38 percent) and onions (6.49 percent).

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The Sensitive Price Indicator for the lowest consumption group up to Rs17,732 witnessed 0.12 percent increase and went up from 177.88 points in last week to 178.10 points during the week under review. Meanwhile, the SPI for the consumption groups from Rs17,732-22,888; Rs22,889-29,517 and Rs29,518-44,175 increased by 0.09 percent, 0.13 percent and 0.10 percent respectively whereas the SPI for consumption group above Rs44,175 declined by 0.03 percent.

During the week, out of 51 items, prices of 19 items increased, 13 items decreased and 19 items remained stable, said the PBS in weekly SPI data.

The commodities, which recorded increase in their average prices, included chicken (10.47 percent), bananas (7.06 percent), vegetable ghee 1 kg (4.08 percent), vegetable ghee 2.5 kg (3.69 percent), mustard oil (2.98 percent), cooking oil 5 liter (2.19 percent), powdered milk (1.11 percent), LPG (9.45 percent), georgette (1.06 percent) and Tea Lipton Yellow Label 190 gm packet (0.69 percent).

The commodities which recorded decrease in their prices during the period under review included tomatoes (27.06 percent), eggs (7.18 percent), diesel (6.43 percent), petrol (6.23 percent), garlic (3.27 percent), pulse Moong (0.96 percent), pulse Masoor (0.69 percent), onions (0.40 percent), wheat flour (0.35 percent), sugar (0.27 percent), potatoes (0.20 percent), pulse mash (0.16 percent) and gur (0.10 percent).

The prices of following commodities remained unchanged during the period: rice basmati broken (average quality), rice IRRI-6/9 (Sindh/Punjab), bread plain (small size), salt powdered (National/Shan) 800 gm pack, chilies powder National 200 gm packet, cooked beef at average hotel, cigarettes capstan 20’S packet and others.

Inflation has increased mainly due to the massive increase in oil price. Inflation rate was on the higher side from last few months. However, it has slightly eased to 12.2 percent in February as compared to 13 percent in January this year. Feeling the heat of the inflation rate, Prime Minister Imran Khan on Monday had announced a relief package for the masses. Under the relief package, the government had reduced the petrol and diesel prices by Rs10 per litre despite massive increase in oil prices in the international market. Prime Minister had also announced to cut the electricity price by Rs5 per unit in order to provide some kind of relief to the masses, who are already facing higher inflation rate in the country.