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Inflation jumps to record 14.6pc during January

Inflation jumps to record 14.6pc during January

ISLAMABAD: The inflation rate has jumped up 14.56 per cent year-on-year (YoY) for the month of January, according to data released by the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS) on Saturday.

In its monthly report, the PBS noted that inflation had risen by 1.97pc compared to December 2019. This is a marked increase from the previous month’s inflation rates. December’s inflation rate stood at 12.63pc, while the November inflation rate was recorded at 12.67pc.

According to the data released, the bulk of the inflation was linked to rises in food prices, with food and non-alcoholic beverages making up 34.5pc of the CPI. Housing, electricity, gas, and fuel made up 23.63pc of the CPI.

On a whole, the information is dismal: on a YoY basis, tomato prices increased 157.72pc in urban areas, and 211.18pc in rural areas; onion prices increased 125.32pc in urban areas, and 136.63pc in rural areas; fresh vegetables prices increased 93.6pc in urban areas, and 104.47pc in rural areas; potato prices increased 87.3pc in urban areas and 111.24pc in rural areas; and what prices increased 36.13pc in urban areas and 32.18pc in rural areas.

Additionally, gas prices rose 54.84pc YoY in urban areas, and motor fuels rose 25.69pc in urban areas and 26.4pc in rural areas.

However, on a month-on-month (MoM) basis, tomato prices decreased 8.36pc in urban and 8.22pc in rural areas, while onion prices also saw a decrease from December 2019 (18.37pc in urban and 20.52pc in rural areas).

This unusually high inflation rate of 14.56pc stands in sharp contrast to the official line the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) is promoting.