Islamabad    -   Pakistan Finance Minister Miftah Ismail expects the economy to grow by more than 3.5 percent for the fiscal year that started in July, Bloomberg News reported on Saturday.

Ismail predicted that inflation — running at a 47-year high and the second-highest in Asia — was close to its peak and would average at 15 percent for the year, the report said. Curbs on luxury items may remain in place for longer than currently anticipated, Ismail was quoted as saying.

The minister added that he wants Pakistan to survive within its means, maintaining that the import payments should be equal to dollar inflows. He went on to say that the government could delay the purchase of luxury items for more than three months keeping in view the current situation.

After months-long hectic efforts, the International Monetary Fund’s (IMF) Executive Board Monday approved the seventh and eighth review of the stalled $6 billion Pakistan programme last Friday.

The weekly inflation, based on the sensitive price index (SPI) rate steeply rose to 45.5 percent on a year-on-year basis — the highest level in a decade — due to a surge in the prices of vegetables, as the country also starts to embrace the worst impact of the catastrophic floods in the country that have affected over 33 million people.

The Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS) on Friday reported that the SPI-based inflation rate jumped to 1.31 percent during the week ended September 1 compared to last week.

It was also the third consecutive week that the inflation rate constantly increased, largely due to supply chain disruption amid floods that have sent the price of essential goods skyrocketing.