ISLAMABAD-Pakistan’s inflation rate touched 9.30 percent in July, which is highest since March 2020, mainly due to increase in fuel and vegetables prices.

The country’s overall inflation reached 9.30 per cent year-on-year in July, increasing from 8.59 percent in June, according to the latest data of Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS).

This is the highest inflation rate since March 2020. In March 2020, the inflation rate was 10.20 percent but it declined in the subsequent months and had touched 8.59 during June. Once again it has increased to 9.30 during the month of July. However, the inflation rate in July 2020 is still less than July 2019 when it was recorded at 10.34 percent.

Inflation increased by 2.5 percent in July 2020 on month-on-month basis, as compared to increase of 0.82 percent in the previous month.

The inflation increased mainly due to abnormal fuel price increase by the government on June 26. For the month of July the government had increased the oil prices by up to 66.09 percent and hiked the price of Motor Spirit (MS-Petrol-92 RON) by Rs 25.58 per litre (34.33 percent), HSD by Rs 21.31 per litre (26.59), Superior Kerosene Oil (SKO) by Rs 23.50 (66.09 percent), Light Diesel Oil(LDO) by Rs 17.84 per litre (46.78 percent). The massive increase in oil prices had resulted in increase in inflation. Similarly, during last week of July, the prices of vegetables and meat increased due to Eid-ul-Adha which has also contributed to high inflation during the month. For the month of August the fuel prices had been further increased by the government and experts believe that the inflation will further soar during the month of August.

In urban areas, tomatoes rates increased by 179.19%, motor fuel 27.01%, vegetables23.84%, onions16.61%, eggs 10.82%, spices 7.57%, wheat7.42%, potatoes 4.58%, meat 3.97%, sugar3.82%, beans 3.07%, cigarettes 2.88%, chicken 2.6%, milk products1.74%, house rent1.58%, milk 1.37% and medicines1.04%.

In rural areas, the increase was as following; tomatoes (241.4%), motor fuels (29.61%), onions(25.57%), vegetables(21.63%), eggs(13.84%), wheat(10.84%), potatoes(5.33%), sugar (3.67%), plastic products (3.49%), rice(2.96%), chicken(2.58%), household equipment (2.47%), cotton cloth (2.45%), honey(2.06%), meat(1.82%), bakery and confectionary (1.74%), house rent (1.7%), wheat flour (1.73%), readymade food (1.72%), condiments and spices (1.48%), beans(1.47%), milk fresh(1.23%).

During the month the prices of some commodities decreased which included moong (10.72 to 13.42%), fresh fruits (6.62%), transport services (5.17 to 7.55 %), pulse gram (2.39 to 4.98%), besan (4.42%), pulse masoor (4.06 to 6.27 %), pulse mash (2.71 to 4.04%) and gram whole (2.7 to 4%) and cooking oil (1.34%).

Meanwhile, the Sensitive Price Indicator (SPI) based weekly inflation for the week ended on July 29, for the combined consumption group, witnessed an increase of 0.31 percent as compared to the previous week.

The SPI for the week under review in the above mentioned group was recorded at 134.31 points against 133.89 points registered in the previous week, according to the latest data of Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS).

As compared to the corresponding week of last year, the SPI for the combined consumption group in the week under review witnessed an increase of 10.10 percent.

The weekly SPI with base year 2015-16=100 is covering 17 urban centers and 51 essential items for all expenditure groups.

The Sensitive Price Indicator for the lowest consumption group upto Rs 17,732 witnessed 0.59 percent increase and went up from 140.05 points in last week to 140.87 points during the week under review.

Meanwhile, the SPI for the consumption groups from Rs. 17,732-22,888, Rs. 22,889-29,517; Rs. 29,518-44,175; Rs29,518 to Rs44,175 and above Rs 44,175 per month also increased by 0.52 percent, 0.44, percent; 0.38 percent and 0.21 percent respectively.

During the week, prices of 8 items decreased, 17 items increased while that of 26 items remained constant.

The items, which recorded decrease in their average prices, included chicken, garlic, bananas, gram pulse, moong pulse, masoor pulse, LPG cylinder and mustard oil. The commodities, which recorded increase in their average prices, included tomatoes, sugar, match box, eggs, gur, wheat flour, milk (fresh), georgette, curd, potatoes, rice (Basmati broken) onions, rice, cooked beef bread, mash pulse and mutton.

Similarly, the prices of the commodities that observed no change during the week under review included beef, milk (powdered), cooking oil (loose), vegetable ghee salt, chillies, tea (packet), cooked daal, tea (prepared), cigarettes, long cloth, shirting, lawn, gents sandal, gents chappal, ladies sandal, electricity charges, gas charges, firewood, energy saver, washing soap, petrol, diesel, telephone call charges and toilet soap.