ISLAMABAD - The continuous increase in petroleum products’ prices pushed the monthly inflation to 4.22 percent in February, which is the highest in last few months.

Inflation measured through consumer price index (CPI) has gone up by 4.22 percent during February, according to the latest data of Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS). Inflation has recorded increase due to the continuous hike in oil prices during last three months.

The government had enhanced the petrol price by Rs9 per liter in last three months, taking from Rs64.2 per liter in November to Rs73 per liter in March. Similarly, the price of high speed diesel has been increased to Rs82 per liter from Rs72.52 per liter of November last year.

Meanwhile, inflation has gone up by 3.9 percent during first eight months (July-February) of the ongoing financial year over a year ago. The government had so far restricted the inflation below the target of six percent, which was set for the current fiscal year 2016-17.

According to the PBS data, the CPI based inflation has increased by 0.2 percent during February compared to the previous month (Jan). CPI Core inflation measured by non-food non-energy CPI (Core NFNE) increased by 5.4 percent on (YoY) basis in February 2017 as compared to increase of 5.3 percent in the previous month.

According to the data, Sensitive Price Indicator (SPI), which gauges rates of kitchen items on weekly basis, has increased by 1.2 percent during the first eight months of the year 2016-17 as against the same month of last year. Similarly, the wholesale price index (WPI) based inflation increased by 3.46 percent in the period under review.

Food and non-alcoholic beverages prices have increased by 3.1 percent. Similarly, health and education charges went up by 14.11 percent and 11.33 percent, respectively. Similarly, prices of utilities (housing, water, electricity, gas and fuel) increased by 4.83 percent in last the month.

Meanwhile, the prices of alcoholic beverages and tobacco went up by 12.44 percent, clothing and footwear at 4.16 percent and furnishing and household equipment maintenance charges by 2.51 percent. Recreational charges and those related to culture went up by 1.29 percent in the period under review, while amounts charged by restaurants and hotels increased by 3.95 percent in February 2017 as compared to the same month last year.

In food commodities, price of tomatoes increased by 28.98 percent, chicken 7.91 percent, onion 6.31 percent, rice 3.53 percent and fresh fruits price surged by 2.62 percent. Likewise, in non-food items, motor fuel price surged by 3.12 percent, medical tests 1.64 percent, doctor fee increased by 1.6 percent and personal equipments prices up by 1.34 percent.

According to the PBS figures, prices of pulse gram decreased by 12.44 percent, besan 9.31 percent, eggs 8.74 percent, pulse mash 6.17 percent and prices of different pulses also recorded decline during the period under review.