The inflation rate has increased to 3.7 percent in April 2018 as compared to 3.2 percent during the last few months, states data released by the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS) on Wednesday.
The data revealed that the inflation, measured by Consumer Price Index (CPI), went upward in April after witnessing a declining trend in the past three months.
During the financial year 2017-18, the CPI-based inflation touched the highest figure of 4.6 percent in December 2017. The CPI compares the prices of around 480 commodities every month in urban centers across the country.
Average inflation in the 10 months (July-April) of 2017-18 stood at 3.77 percent, as compared to 4.09 percent in the corresponding period of the last year. However, it is still below the projected target of 6 percent for the current fiscal year.
Food inflation came down 0.2 percent, compared year on year, but surged 1.5 percent on a monthly basis. Prices of non-perishable food items went up slightly by 0.82 percent while those of perishable products increased 6.6 percent during the month.
Food items, which saw the highest increase in prices during April were: fresh vegetables 15.3 percent, tomatoes 8.47 percent, fresh fruits 5.76 percent, chicken 4.34 percent, sweet meat 4.01 percent, sugar 3.3 percent, betel leaves & nuts 2.1 percent, meat 1.78 percent, spices 1.68 percent, condiments 1.66 percent, dry fruits 1.54 percent, jam & pickles 1.47 percent, fish 1.46 percent, beverages 1.42 percent, tea 1.36 percent, and milk products 1.2 percent.
In the same category, prices of onions dipped by 10.66 percent month-over-month, potatoes 7.19 percent, eggs 5.06 percent, wheat 2.79 percent, chickpea flour (besan) 1.38 percent, mash lentil 1.37 percent, grams whole 1.33 percent, Masoor lentil 1.13 percent, wheat flour 0.69 percent, and wheat products 0.5 percent.
On the other hand, non-food inflation went up by 6.4 percent year-on-year, and 2.1 percent on a month-over-month basis.
Global crude oil prices increased in the past few months and their impact was passed on to the consumers in Pakistan. The slight increase in the non-food inflation is mainly due to increase in oil prices in the past few months.
Core inflation, measured by excluding volatile food and energy prices, was recorded at 7 percent year-on-year and 2.5 percent on a month-on-month basis. Core inflation has been steadily rising for the past couple of months.
Education and health indices rose by 12.99 percent and 5.01 percent respectively on a year-over-year basis while a decline of 17 percent was witnessed in the index of alcoholic beverages and tobacco. Clothing and footwear prices rose by 6.98 percent while that of housing, water, electricity, gas and other fuels by 5.46 percent.