Inflation jumps to 4pc in Nov

ISLAMABAD – Annual inflation rate jumped to 4 percent in November due to higher oil prices and imposition of regulatory duty on imported items.

The inflation measured through Consumer Price Index (CPI) was recorded at 4 percent during November against same month of the last year, according to the latest data of Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS) released on Tuesday. Inflation is expected to increase in the months due to the continuous increase in petroleum products prices and imposition of regulatory duty on non-essential import items. However, the government believes that inflation rate would remain below target of 6 percent.

“Higher international oil prices along with pass-through to domestic petroleum prices and the imposition of regulatory duty on non-essential import items are expected to increase inflation in the coming months,” the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) noted in its recent monetary policy. However, while taking into account these effects, inflation is still expected to fall inside the range of 4.5-5.5 percent projected at the start of FY18. Model-based projections for inflation and survey-based measures of inflation expectations show that in FY18 overall inflation is expected to remain well below the target of 6.0 percent. On month-on-month basis, inflation increased by 0.4 percent in November 2017 as compared to an increase of 0.7 percent in the previous month. Meanwhile, core inflation measured by non-food non-energy CPI (Core NFNE) increased by 5.5% on (YoY) basis in November 2017 as compared to an increase of 5.3% in the previous month and 5.3% in November 2016.

According to PBS, the CPI based inflation was recorded at 3.59 percent during first five months (July-November) of the current fiscal year. The Sensitive Price Indicator (SPI), which gauges rates of kitchen items on weekly basis, increased by 1.14 percent. Similarly, the wholesale price index (WPI) based inflation enhanced by 1.69 percent in the period under review. The break-up of inflation of 3.97 percent showed that food and non-alcoholic beverages prices have increased by 3.44 percent. Similarly, health and education charges went up by 9.99 percent and 12.4 percent, respectively. Similarly, prices of utilities (housing, water, electricity, gas and fuel) increased by 4.85 percent in last the month.

Meanwhile, the prices of alcoholic beverages and tobacco went down by 16.37 percent. Price of clothing and footwear increased by 3.8 percent and furnishing and household equipment maintenance charges by 3.27 percent. Recreational charges and those related to culture went up by 0.38 percent in the period under review, while amounts charged by restaurants and hotels by 6.38 percent in November 2017 as compared to the same month last year.

In food commodities, price of eggs increased by 30.09 percent, potatoes price enhanced by 5.66pc, betel leaves and nuts price went up by 4.75pc, tomatoes 3.61pc, wheat flour 1.99pc and chicken price surged by 1.95 percent. Meanwhile, in non-food commodities, prices of kerosene oil enhanced by 4.71 percent, motor fuel 2.22pc, personal equipments by 2.18pc, woolen readymade garments 1.53pc and education charges went up by 1.39 percent during November as against October.

According to the PBS figures, price of pulse mash decreased by 5.26 percent, fresh fruits 4.76 percent, pulse gram 2.06 pc, and sugar price went down by 1.99pc during November as compared to the month of October.

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