ISLAMABAD - Pakistan Institute of Development Economics (PIDE) in its latest business barometer has observed that the rate of rapid growth in prices witnessed in the past year is likely to remain contained during the coming months. The biannual PIDE business barometer captures the expectations of business enterprises regarding their business activity, prices faced and constraints encountered. The broad trends contained in the PIDE business barometer are: the rate of increase in prices is likely to subside, albeit only slightly, during July-December 2011. The magnitude of increase in prices expected by firms during July-December 2011 is less than what the firms experienced during the previous half of the year. Similarly the number of firms that expect an increase, during July-December 2011 has also declined. These responses suggest that the rate at which prices have been increasing is likely to decline slightly. The latest figures, on overall inflation and its components, released by the Federal Bureau of Statistics, supports the PIDEs survey findings that inflationary pressures will be contained, at least with respect to manufacturing goods, during July-December 2011. The production and sales volume of the firms maintained the pattern of sluggish growth during January-June 2011 and firms expect that a similar trend would continue during July-December 2011. The extent of capacity utilisation of the firms, actual as well as expected, also suggests that production and sales trend are not likely to change much during July-December 2011. Slack demand and non-availability of energy continue to be cited as the major constraints to doing business. Wages during the period under review have increased but only as a matter of annual routine and the increase is not directly tied to the high inflation observed in the preceding periods. The conclusions drawn in the barometer are based on a randomly selected sample of firms, mainly manufacturing, listed at Karachi Stock Exchange.