ISLAMABAD - Inflation rate enhanced to 4.57 percent during December over a year ago due to continuous increase in oil prices and imposition of regulatory duty on imported items.

The inflation measured through Consumer Price Index (CPI) was recorded at 4.57 percent during December against same month of the last year, according to the latest data of Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS). Inflation rate was around 4 percent from last several months. However, it went up to 4.57 percent last month due to increase in petroleum products prices and imposition of regulatory duty on imported items.

Inflation is expected to increase further in the months to come due to the continuous increase in petroleum products prices and rupee depreciation against the dollar. The rupee had depreciated by around 5 percent against the US dollar. Dollar value has gone beyond Rs110.5 per rupee. The government on Sunday made a significant increase in the prices of all the petroleum products for January. The government raised the petrol price by Rs4.06 per litre and new petrol price is now Rs81.53 per litre. The high speed diesel (HSD) rate, with an increase of Rs3.96, will be available at Rs89.91 a litre. The price of light diesel oil (LDO) has been increased by Rs6.25, taking it up from Rs52.12 to Rs58.37 per litre. Similarly, kerosene oil price has been increased by Rs6.79 per litre, taking it up from Rs57.58 to Rs64.30 per litre.

The increase in oil prices would higher the transportation charges, which directly impact the prices of basic food commodities. However, the government believed that inflation rate would remain below target of 6 percent.

On month-on-month basis, inflation decreased by 0.10 percent in December 2017 as compared to an increase of 0.5 percent in the previous month. Meanwhile, trimmed core inflation measured by non-food non-energy CPI (Core NFNE) increased by 5.5% on (YoY) basis in December 2017.

According to PBS, the CPI based inflation was recorded at 3.75 percent during first six months (July-December) of the current fiscal year. The Sensitive Price Indicator (SPI), which gauges rates of kitchen items on weekly basis, increased by 1.14 percent. Similarly, the wholesale price index (WPI) based inflation enhanced by 1.69 percent in the period under review. The break-up of inflation of 4.57 percent showed that food and non-alcoholic beverages prices increased by 4.57 percent. Similarly, health and education charges went up by 10.92 percent and 12.4 percent, respectively. Similarly, prices of utilities (housing, water, electricity, gas and fuel) increased by 4.86 percent in last the month.

Meanwhile, the prices of alcoholic beverages and tobacco went down by around 16 percent. Price of clothing and footwear increased by 3.64 percent and furnishing and household equipment maintenance charges 3.26 percent. Recreational charges and those related to culture went up by 0.59 percent in the period under review, while amounts charged by restaurants and hotels by 6.38 percent in December 2017 as compared to the same month last year.

In food commodities, price of onions increased by 130.35 percent, potatoes price enhanced by 29.35pc and government university fee charges up by 37.72pc. Meanwhile, potatoes prices increased by 21.72 percent, chicken prices enhanced by 21.21 percent, gas cylinder prices went up by17.04 percent, petrol prices 14.94 percent, diesel price by 12.80 percent and kerosene oil by 13.51 percent.

According to the PBS figures, price of garlic decreased by 45.46 percent, gram pulse 28.85 percent, mash pulse 27.41pc, and gram whole down by 21.71pc during December as compared to the month of November.