ISLAMABAD - Inflation measured through the Sensitive Price Indicator (SPI) posted an increase of 0.51 percent for the week ended on February 24 after massive increase in oil prices.

Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS) data showed that SPI-based inflation recorded an increase of 0.51 percent during the week ended on February 24. The SPI went up from 169.61 percent during the week ended February 17, 2022 to 170.47 percent during the week ended on February 24.

The year on year trend, according to the PBS data, recorded increase of 15.90 percent, in tomatoes (366.42 percent), LPG (57.12 percent), garlic (51.69 percent), mustard oil (50.74 percent), petrol (42.28 percent), cooking oil 5 litre (41.81 percent), vegetable ghee 1 kg (38.36 percent), vegetable ghee 2.5 kg (38.11 percent), washing soap (37.78 percent), pulse masoor (36.94 percent) and diesel (32.26 percent). Meanwhile, major decrease was observed in the prices of chillies powdered (36.30 percent), pulse Moong (29.33 percent), sugar (5.36 percent), onions (4.04 percent), potatoes (3.71 percent) and eggs (0.61 percent).

The Sensitive Price Indicator for the lowest consumption group up to Rs17,732 witnessed 0.34 percent increase and went up from 177.28 points in last week to 177.88 points during the week under review. Meanwhile, the SPI for the consumption groups from Rs17,732-22,888; Rs22,889-29,517; Rs29,518-44,175 and above Rs44,175 increased by 0.45 percent, 0.48 percent, 0.54 percent and 0.53 percent respectively.

During the week, out of 51 items, prices of 20 items increased, 11 items decreased and 20 items remained stable, said the PBS in weekly SPI data.  The commodities, which recorded increase in their average prices included chicken (14.46 percent), bananas (3.86 percent), tomatoes (3.63 percent), mustard oil (2.96 percent) tea prepared (1.72 percent), energy saver Philips 14 watt (0.83 percent), tea Lipton yellow label 190 gm packet (0.69 percent), cooked Daal at average hotel (0.53 percent), vegetable ghee Dalda/Habib 2.5 kg tin (0.52 percent) and sugar refined (0.46 percent).

The commodities which recorded decrease in their prices during the period under review included garlic (5.28 percent), onions (2.63 percent), eggs (2.60 percent), potatoes (2.00 percent), pulse Moong (0.90 percent), LPG (0.76 percent), Gur (0.75 percent), pulse gram (0.27 percent), pulse Masoor (0.11 percent), pulse Mash (0.02 percent) and firewood (0.02 percent).

The commodities whose prices remained unchanged during the period included Rice IRRI-6/9 (Sindh/Punjab), bread plain (small size), powdered milk Nido 390 gm polybag, cooking oil Dalda or other similar brand, salt powdered, 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. The government recently had enhanced oil prices upto Rs12 per litre to pass on the impact of higher international oil prices and application of additional petroleum levy as committed to the International Monetary Fund (IMF). Earlier, in last week, National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (Nepra) had approved the hike of Rs3.10 per unit in the rate of electricity tariff on account of fuel charges adjustment (FCA) for December 2021. The economic experts believed that increasing oil and electricity would fuel the inflation rate, which is already on the higher side. The inflation rate has skyrocketed to the highest level of nearly two years to 13 percent in January 2022.