ISLAMABAD

After coming down to the 14th month lowest level in August, the Inflation rate has once again climbing up due to the devastating floods and sit-ins of Pakistan Tehreek-I-Insaf (PTI) and Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT) in federal capital.

The inflation based on consumer price indicator (CPI) - the main national indicator reflecting change in prices of basket of goods and services - clocked in at 7.7 percent during previous month (September) over corresponding month of last year. The inflation had touched the 14th lowest ebb of 7 percent in August.

However, the devastating floods in different parts of the country as well as the prolong sit-ins of PTI and PAT had pushed the inflation rate to the higher side in September, as already warned by the government. Secretary Finance Dr Waqar Masood last week informed the Senate’s committee on Finance that inflation rate would come under pressure on account of supply disruption of commodities due to dharnas/ rallies. It will be further impacted due to recent floods, he informed.

Pakistan rupee was depreciated by Rs 4-5 in last couple of months due to the political uncertainty and sits-ins in federal capital. The rupee depreciation also played role in increasing the inflation rate, which was somehow controlled by the government in last few months. The government had successfully brought down the inflation rate to seven percent in August mainly due to non-increasing petroleum product prices.  Inflation rate remained at higher side in last one and half years, as it hovered around 8-8.5 percent.

However, the latest figures of the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS) showed that inflation has once again started upward journey. The government might struggle to restrict the inflation at eight percent during ongoing financial year as targeted in the budgeted if political situation do improve in the country.

The State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) also warned of enhancing inflation rate. “The current outlook of around 8 percent average CPI inflation for FY15 might change adversely if the subsidy to electricity is cut and Gas Infrastructure Development Cess is levied”, stated the Central Bank in its latest monetary policy.

Meanwhile, according to the figures of Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS), the CPI based inflation has recorded at 7.52 percent during first quarter (July to September) of the ongoing financial year over the corresponding period of the last fiscal year. Meanwhile, the sensitive price indicator (SPI), which gauges weekly inflation in kitchen items, has decreased by 5.48 percent in July-September 2014 as against the same month of last year. Similarly, the Wholesale Price Index (WPI) based inflation increased by 4.17 percent in the period under review.

According to the PSB figures, on month-on-month basis, it increased by 0.4 percent in September 2014 as compared previous month (August) and by 0.3 percent in September 2013.

Meanwhile, the break-up of CPI based inflation (7.68 percent) in September 2014 showed that prices of food and nonalcoholic beverages shot up 6.47 percent, alcoholic beverages and tobacco 22.37 percent, clothing and footwear 8.98 percent, housing and utilities charges 8.84 percent, transportation fares 5.43 percent and healthcare charges 6.24 percent as compared to September 2013. Charges of recreation and culture were up by 4.11 percent, education 15.28 percent, restaurant and hotel 9.17 percent and miscellaneous by 6.06 percent in the period review.

Meanwhile, the PBS data showed that price of tomatoes increased by 33.88 percent in the month of September 2014 against August, price of sugar enhanced by 6.33 percent, price of gur went up by 2.75 percent, price of honey surged by 2.32 percent, price of pulse mash increased by 2.24 percent, price of onions surged by 2.19 percent, price of tea went up by 1.42 percent and price of eggs enhanced by 1.21 percent during the period under review. Similarly, in non-food commodities, cost of transport services increased by 8.52 percent, household servant charges enhanced by 1.63 percent, furniture price surged by 1.2 percent, charges of cleaning and laundry went up by 1.19 percent, tailor charges soared by 1.14 percent and house hold textile cost up by 1.12 percent.

According to the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics, prices of following commodities decreased chicken 11.41 percent, fresh fruits, 4.17 percent, pulse moong, 2.73 percent and potatoes 2.35 percent in September over August. Meanwhile, in non-food commodities, price of motor fuel decreased by 0.55 percent and kerosene oil 0.14 percent.