ISLAMABAD

The PML-N government has missed the inflation rate by small margin during previous financial year 2013-14, as consumer price indicator (CPI) has recorded at 8.62 percent against the target of 8.5 percent during the period under review.

The CPI - the main national indicator reflecting change in prices of basket of goods and services - clocked in at 8.62 percent during previous financial year (July 2013 to June 2014) over it preceding year.  However, the government had missed the inflation rate target of 8.5 percent by a little margin.

Interestingly, the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS) has proved the estimates of international financial institutions and central bank wrong regarding inflation rate, as it calculated much lesser figures than what IFIs estimated. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) had earlier noted that inflation rate had projected to hover around 10 percent in the last fiscal year. Similarly, the Asian Development Bank (ADB0 has forecasted that inflation rate would be nine percent during previous financial year 2013-14. Meanwhile, the State Bank of Pakistan also expected average CPI inflation for FY14 to fall between 10 to 11 per cent.

However, the PBS has brought down the inflation rate closer to the government’s target. “We have to accept the PBS figures, as we do not have other option to calculate the inflation’s figures”, said renowned economist Dr Ashaque Hassan Khan while talking to The Nation.

Meanwhile, the Finance Ministry official told that government has restricted the inflation rate in the range of eight to nine percent during previous financial year mainly because of not increasing petroleum products in most of the months of the year. He added that government has paid Rs 20 billion subsidy on not increasing petroleum products prices in the country in previous year 2013-14.

Meanwhile, according to the latest figures of Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS), the CPI based inflation has witnessed an increase of 8.2 percent during the month of June 2014 over the corresponding period last year. Meanwhile, the inflation rate has enhanced by 0.6 percent in June 2014 against its preceding month of May.

The sensitive price indicator, which gauges weekly inflation in kitchen items, has decreased by 1.1 percent in June 2014 as against its previous month. Meanwhile, Wholesale Price Index (WPI) based inflation increased by 1.4 percent in the period under review.

The break-up of CPI based inflation (8.22 percent) in June 2014 showed that prices of food and nonalcoholic beverages shot up 6.13 percent, alcoholic beverages and tobacco 33.20 percent, clothing and footwear 10.99 percent, housing and utilities charges 9.62 percent, transportation fares 4.28 percent and healthcare charges 7.37 percent as compared to June 2013. Charges of recreation and culture were up by 6.13 percent, education 1673 percent, restaurant and hotel 13.35 percent and miscellaneous by 6.29 percent in the period review.

Meanwhile, the PBS data showed that price of tomatoes increased by 60.22 percent in the month of June 2014 against May, price of cigarettes enhanced by 16.18 percent, price of pulse mash went up by 3.61 percent, price of sugar surged by 3.44 percent, price of potatoes increased by 3.26 percent, price of spices surged by 2.79 percent, price of beverages went up by 2.55 percent, price of milk powder enhanced by 2.36 percent, price of gur enhanced by 2.33 percent and price of eggs raised by 1.64 percent during the month of June over May.

Similarly, in non-food items, charges of household servant enhanced by 2.52 percent, cotton cloth price increased by 2.22 percent, marriage hall charged surged by 1.46 percent, education, 1.15 percent, sewing needle and dry cell by 1.12 percent and hosiery 1.07 percent during period under review.

Meanwhile, prices of following commodities decreased, fresh vegetables 4.83 percent, chicken 3.13 percent, onions 2.67 percent, tea, 1.71 percent, beans, 1.46 percent, wheat flour 1.11 percent and Wheat & Betel Leaves Nuts (1.04pc each) during June 2014 over its previous month of May. Similarly, in non-food items, price of personal equipments reduced by 0.73 percent, firewood whole by 0.42 percent and motor fuel by 0.12 percent during month of June over May.