Inflation continues to rise


Inflation continues to rise ISLAMABAD: Annual inflation edged up to 4.21 per cent in October from 3.88pc in the preceding month on the back of increase in food prices, the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics said on Tuesday.

The main inflation, measured by Consumer Price Index (CPI), has been on the rise since August when it stood at 3.6pc.

The index rose 0.8pc month-on-month in October as compared to 0.2pc in September and 0.5pc in October 2015. CPI tracks prices of nearly 500 commodities every month across the country.

Annual inflation target was projected at 6pc for the year 2016-17. In the previous fiscal year, average annual inflation was recorded at 2.86pc.

Average annual inflation in the first four months of this fiscal year — July to October — now stands at 3.95pc as against 1.65pc in the same period of the fiscal year 2015-16 and 7.09pc in 2014-15.

In October, the food group, which has a weight of 37pc in the CPI basket, rose 4.4pc year-on-year due to rise in prices of perishable and non-perishable food items.

On a month-on-month basis, food inflation increased 0.8pc in October due to 1.68pc increase in prices of perishable products and 0.74pc in non-perishable products.

The food items whose prices increased included chicken 20pc, fresh vegetables 6pc, wheat 4.4pc, besan 3.68pc, pulse gram 2.7pc, tomatoes 2.7pc, gram whole 1.2pc, wheat flour 1.06pc and dry fruits 1pc.

Core inflation, measured by excluding volatile food and energy prices, was recorded at 5pc in September, slightly up by 0.9pc from the previous month.

This inflation has remained subdued since November last year because of a tighter monetary policy and reduction in food and fuel prices.

Government borrowing is one of the key factors influencing the trend of inflation as there is a positive relation between government borrowing and core inflation.

Non-food inflation was recorded at 4.1pc in October. It increased by 0.8pc from the previous month despite the fact that oil prices were kept unchanged.

Among the non-food groups, education and health indices rose 11pc and 7.85pc in October compared to the same month a year ago. The highest increase of 17.6pc was witnessed in the index of alcoholic beverages and tobacco.

The index of clothing and footwear rose by 4.2pc and that of housing, water, electricity, gas and other fuels by 4.9pc.

Meanwhile, Sensitive Price Index edged up by 1.74pc and Wholesale Price Index by 3.17pc in October.


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