A vendor gestures to a customer at a local market in Lahore on August 29, 2022, amid a big hike in prices of food items in the wake of massive floods in Pakistan. — AFP/File

KARACHI: Sensitive price index-based weekly inflation rose over 4% during the outgoing week, which was attributed to a significant increase in electricity prices.

The Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS) on Friday reported that the SPI-based inflation rate rose 4.13% during the week ended October 27 compared to last week; meanwhile, it rose 30.68% compared to the same period of last year.

Data released by PBS showed that the average prices of 21 essential items, electricity charges, salt, rice, and other items increased during the outgoing week.

Prices of 16 items, including tomatoes, onions, pulse Masoor, and chicken have declined. Meanwhile, the rates for 14 essential goods remained unchanged.

IIS Research analyst Fahad Rauf in his commentary noted that a week-on-week increase mainly emanates from an 89% rise in electricity charges.

To recall, there was a fuel cost adjustment made in September of negative Rs10 per unit. The government decided to defer the June fuel cost adjustment of Rs10 per unit, but it was already booked in August’s inflation numbers, hence it was adjusted in September Inflation.

The brokerage estimate October inflation to clock in at 25.7% compared to 23.2% in September.

The combined income group index went up from 205.27 points during the week that ended on October 20 to 213.74 points in the week under review.

The SPI for the lowest income group increased by 4.64% compared to the previous week. The index for the group stood at 220.56 points against 210.78 points in the previous week.

On weekly basis prices of the following essential items rose:

Food items:

  • Salt powdered —2.57%
  • Tea Lipton — 1.89%
  • Rice IRRI-6/9 — 1.24%
  • Garlic — 1.04%

Non-food items:

  • Electricity charges for Q1 — 89.34%
  • Energy saver — 1.57%

On weekly basis prices of following essential items declined:

Food items:

  • Tomatoes — -3.77%
  • Onions — -2.97%
  • Pulse Masoor — -2.50%
  • Chicken — -1.86%
  • Pulse Gram — -1.35%
  • Gur — -1.09%

Non-food items:

SPI is computed on weekly basis to assess the price movements of essential commodities at a shorter interval of time to review the price situation in the country. It comprises 51 essential items and the prices are collected from 50 markets in 17 cities of the country.

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