Fuel price hike adds to inflation woes

Basic necessities get costlier; SPI registers 29.83% annual increase

Irshad Ansari August 04, 2023


The country is witnessing a concerning surge in inflation, as indicated by the Sensitive Price Indicator (SPI), which has recorded a 1.30% increase in weekly inflation and a staggering annual surge of 29.83%.

This inflationary trend comes shortly after the government raised petrol and diesel prices by nearly Rs20 per litre each, bringing local fuel prices to around Rs273 per litre.

The latest weekly report released by the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS) highlights that 23 essential items, including petroleum products, have become more expensive, while prices of seven essential items, such as gram dal, moong dal, chicken, flour, vegetable ghee, and mustard oil, have seen a decrease.

According to the PBS data, the SPI for the current week in the mentioned group was recorded at 271.56 points, compared to 268.08 points during the previous week. When compared to the corresponding week of the previous year, the SPI for the combined consumption group witnessed a significant increase of 29.83%.

Read more: Inflation breaks all records, climbs to 44.58%

The weekly SPI, based on the 2015-16 base year =100, covers 17 urban centers and 51 essential items for all expenditure groups. In this regard, the SPI for the lowest consumption group, up to Rs17,732, increased by 0.82% and reached 277.55 points, up from the previous week's 275.30 points.

For the consumption groups ranging from Rs17,732 to Rs22,888, Rs22,889 to Rs29,517, Rs29,518 to Rs44,175, and above Rs44,175, the SPI rose by 0.92%, 0.97%, 1.11%, and 1.53% respectively.

During the week, out of 51 items, the prices of 23 items (45.10%) increased, 7 items (13.72%) decreased, and 21 items (41.18%) remained stable.

The items that recorded a decrease in their average prices on a week-on-week (WoW) basis included mustard oil (1.63%), chicken (1.40%), vegetable ghee 1 kg (0.51%), vegetable ghee 2.5 kg (0.36%), pulse gram (0.22%), wheat flour (0.20%), and pulse moong (0.03%).

On the other hand, the items that witnessed an increase in their average prices on a week-on-week (WoW) basis included tomatoes (16.85%), chillies powder (7.58%), garlic (5.71%), onion (5.50%), powdered milk (5.17%), eggs (3.86%), rice basmati broken (2.06%), LPG (9.82%), petrol (7.86%), and diesel (7.82%).

Regarding the Year-on-Year (YOY) basis, the commodities that witnessed a decrease in price included onions (37.10%), electricity for q1 (18.06%), pulse masoor (15.07%), and vegetable ghee 1 kg (1.13%).

On the contrary, the commodities that recorded an increase in their average prices on a Year-on-Year (YoY) basis included wheat flour (131.40%), cigarettes (109.57%), gas charges for q1 (108.38%), tea Lipton (97.71%), rice basmati broken (82.86%), rice (72.73%), tomatoes (67.54%), chillies powder (66.74%), sugar (64.12%), chicken (60.51%), gents sponge chappal (58.05%), gur (57.75%), and potatoes (55.75%).


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