ISLAMABAD           -          The Sensitive Price Indicator (SPI) based weekly inflation for the week ended on March 19, for the combined consumption group, witnessed a slight increase of 0.05 percent as compared to the previous week. The Sensitive Price Indicator (SPI) for the week under review in the above mentioned group was recorded at 129.72 points against 129.66 points registered in the previous week, according to the latest data released by the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS). 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 up to Rs 17,732 witnessed 0.07 percent increase and went up from 133.60 points in last week to 133.69 points during the week under review. 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 12.85 percent, while, for the lowest group, it increased by 12.19 percent. Meanwhile, the SPI for the consumption groups from Rs. 17,733-22,888, Rs. 22,889-29,517, Rs. 29,518-44,175 and above Rs 44,175 per month also witnessed nominal increase of 0.05 percent, 0.05 percent, 0.04 percent and 0.05 percent respectively. During the week, out of 51 items, prices of 14 (27.45%) items increased, 10 (19.61%) items decreased while that of 27 (52.94%) items remained constant. The items, which recorded decrease in their average prices included onions, chicken, garlic, bananas, mustard oil, potatoes, gram pulse, rice (Basmati Broken), Moong pulse and Mash pulse.

The commodities, which recorded increase in their average prices included tomatoes, LPG Cylinder, Chillies, sugar, gur, rice (Irri-6/9), wheat flour, mutton, bread, masoor pulse, eggs, milk (fresh), beef and curd.

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

According to PBS analysis, the SPI for the week under review, this nominal increase was mainly due to a surge in prices of food items

The year on year trend depicts an increase of 12.85% with most of the items increased mainly potatoes (127.65%), onions (93.78%), garlic (87.51%), pulse moong (67.40%), pulse mash (48.52%), cigarettes (36.81%), veg ghee 1Kg (35.94%), sugar (32.93%), vegetable ghee 2.5kg (32.15%), gur (31.39%), cooking oil 5kg (27.17%), LPG (24.05%), long cloth (20.90%), petrol (19.98%), pulse gram (19.07%), cooked beef (18.54%), shirting (17.90%), pulse masoor (16.94%), tea prepared (15.86%) and powdered milk (15.31%) while a major decrease was observed in the price of tomatoes (54.91%), electricity (13.15%) and chicken (9.40%).