In Pakistan, high food inflation is still under control during the ongoing holy month of Ramazan, rendering the prices of fruits and vegetables beyond the purchasing power of the ordinary people in the country. In March the inflation rate picked up pace and jumped to 12.7 percent amid a significant rise in prices of perishable food items both in urban and rural regions.
The Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS) recorded that the Consumer Price Index (CPI) grew to 12.7 percent in March over the corresponding month a year ago. The national data collecting agency recorded a 33.63 percent increase in prices of chicken, 15.17 percent in fruits and an 8.32 percent surge in prices of mustard oil, hitting every household adversely. Similarly, the PBS recorded a 7.79 percent increase in liquefied hydrocarbons and a 2 percent increase in construction input items in March over the same month of the previous year.
|Core Inflation In Pakistan (%) (Base 2015-16)|
Furthermore, the majority of the prices increased because of an increase in commodity prices in the international market and a decline in the value of the rupee. The surge also comes amid a sharp rise in worldwide inflation and soaring oil prices in the international market, which touched $140 per barrel during the month, and its direct and indirect impact is passed on to the consumers. The rise in commodity prices in the international market and reduction in the value of the Pakistani rupee will push the cost of every imported commodity including wheat, sugar, cooking oil, crude oil and the raw materials of the industries. Sources recorded that the inflation rate was slightly above the market expectation; however, the analysts expected the number to remain in double-digits. Sources also recorded that trading has slowed down at Pakistan’s oldest date market that caters for demand during the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan, as high prices and falling purchasing power kept buyers away. The century old Khajoor Market in Karachi’s Lyari Town is a major source of date supply not only to the city, but to the rest of the South Asian country as well. Greater than 90 percent of commercial activities at Khajoor Market depend on Ramadan, but the market has remained subdued this year except for a few days before the start of the holy month. Statistics also showed that the prices of various varieties of dates had increased by approximately 70 percent this year, as against to 2021.
|Inflation In Pakistan|
|Index||Average July- March % changes||March over March % changes|
On Month-on-Month (MoM) the top few commodities which varied from previous month are given below:
Increased: Coal (57.42%), Poultry (32.70%), Furnace Oil (29.50%), Concrete Mixture (26.97%), Air Conditioners (19.50%), Fruits (16.81%), Chuff Cutter (15.39%), Tractors (15.37%), Vegetable Ghee (14.53%), Vegetable Oils (8.49%), Cement (6.70%), Bicycles (5.77%), Leather (5.56%), Chemicals (5.19%), Milk (4.63%), Coffee & Tea (4.46%), Maize (3.43%) and Kerosene Oil (3.32%).
Decreased: Eggs (14.33%), Stimulant & Spice Crops (10.85%), Vegetables (7.37%), Potatoes (5.69%), Motor Spirit (2.68%), Bajra (2.65%), Wheat (2.29%), Diesel (1.91%) and Fish (1.05%).
Whereas on Year-on-Year (YoY) basic the top few commodities which varied from previous year are given below:
Increased: Furnace Oil (74.62%), Cultivators (68.18%), Vegetable Ghee (64.06%), Oil Seeds (63.32%), Concrete Mixture (63.24%), Fibre Crops (62.89%), Vegetables (58.03%), Coal (57.42%), Kerosene Oil (53.31%), Chemicals (50.12%), Steel Bar & Sheets (47.22%), Vegetable Oils (42.14%), Fertilizers (38.38%), Diesel (37.2%), Motor Spirit (37.14%), Fruits (31.60%), Tractors (30.77%), Bed Foam (28.94%), Cement (27.48%) and Poultry (24.72%).
Decreased: Spices (35.76%), Eggs (23.14%), Stimulant & Spice Crops (22.24%), Sugar (9.26%), Maize (3.53%) and Potatoes (3.16%).