ISLAMABAD - Every new dawn is multiplying worries for the poor of the country who are scratching their heads to feed their loved ones, as inflation for them has increased by 17.85 percent during the last one year. Government seems helpless in curbing the soaring inflation, as the poor masses have still not got any respite. Prices of pulses, which were affordable food item for every class of the society, have gone up by around 60 percent in one-year period. Beside pulses, prices of sugar, flour, and vegetables have also been increased. Economic experts are of the view that the weakening rupee has contributed to the rise in the cost of living. For each one percent increase in inflation, more and more people fall into poverty indicating the inflation is hitting poor consumers harder than the affluent class. Specifically, the poor are highly sensitive to price changes in food, particularly staple food items, economists say. Households are struggling to meet the minimum standards of living and they may have no choice but to cut down their expenditures on health and childrens education. According to the data of Federal Bureau of Statistics, inflation for all income groups ranging from Rs 3,000 to above Rs 12,000 per month surged by 17.85 percent till January 14 over the same period of the last year. The FBS figures based on Sensitive Price Indicator, a weekly barometer to determine prices of essential items, showed an increase in prices of 21 most essential items. In one week the major increase was in eggs. Egg prices went up by 20.92 percent. The FBS also reported over 9.09 percent increase in prices of cigarettes. On other hand, the prices of 42 items surged during the last week in comparison with the same period of the last year. Major increase was in Garlic, 232.48 percent. Moong pulse washed, rates surged over 71 per cent during the last week over the same period of the last year. The statistics department reports average figures of 17 cities. However these rates do not match with the market prices, as the retail dealers sell commodities on their prescribed prices. An economist working with the Government said the trend of price hike would continue in future as well. He predicted further increase in prices of wheat, flour, sugar, vegetable and fruits. The construction cost is also increasing from last few weeks. The Statistics Department reported above 26.62 percent increase in cement prices during the last seven days over the same period of the previous year.