Inflation Reached 4 Year High in Feb 2019: Bureau of Statistics

Pakistan’s annual inflation reached a four year high of 8.21% in February 2019, driven up by Rupee’s depreciation and demand pressure plus a significant surge in the cost of living on almost every front.

According to the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS), inflation has accelerated to 8.21% in February 2019 compared to 3.8% in the same month of the previous year. Consumer inflation was at the current level in 2014 and it was registered at 8.2 percent in June 2014.

The State Bank of Pakistan has been highlighting the impact of Rupee devaluation on inflation numbers in its periodical reports. The Rupee lost more than 26 percent against the Dollar since December 2016.

On a month-on-month basis, CPI inched up by 0.64 percent in February, the PBS data said.

Analysts said that Rupee devaluation, as well as an increase in prices of perishable items, were the main reasons behind the rise in inflation. In February, the wholesale price index increased 0.90 percent while sensitive price index rose 2.21 percent year-on-year.

In February this year, food inflation increased by 4.5% on an annual basis. Prices of non-perishable food items were up by 0.35%, while those of perishable products fell by 10.4%.

The  prices of tomatoes increased 179.4 percent year-on-year, followed by ginger (16.21%), beef (14.42%), sugar (13.86%), tea Lipton (13.70%), mutton (12.79%), gur (10.82%), ghee loose (8.30%), fish (7.90%), pulse moong (7.89%), eggs (7.21%), cooking oil (7.17%), rice (7.16%), pulse gram (6.92%), gram whole black (4.85%), milk fresh (4.04%) and wheat (3.21%).

Core inflation measured by non-food, non-energy CPI (Core NFNE) increased by 8.8% on (YoY) basis in February 2019 as compared to an increase of 8.7% in the previous month and 5.2% in February 2018.

SPI inflation on YoY basis increased by 6.5% in February 2019 as compared to an increase of 3.7% a month earlier and an increase of 0.5% in February 2018. WPI inflation on YoY basis increased by 11.0% in February 2019 as compared to an increase of 9.9% a month earlier and an increase of 4.1% in February 2018.

You can check out the full report here.