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Inflation mounts to 4.78pc [The Nation] 03 May, 2017

ISLAMABAD - The pace of inflation has increased by 4.78 percent during April due to the continuous increase in oil prices.

The inflation measured through Consumer Price Index (CPI), which tracks prices of around 480 commodities every month, has increased by 1.4 percent in April as against preceding month (March). Meanwhile, the inflation has recorded an increase of 4.09 percent during ten months (July-April) of the ongoing financial year as against the same month of the last year, according to Pakistan Bureau of Statistics.

The government has target to keep inflation at below six percent during ongoing financial year 2016-17. The inflation is on increasing trend from last few months due to the continuous hike in petroleum products and food commodities prices. The government had enhanced the oil prices by more than Rs10 per litre since November last year.

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) had predicted that inflation rate would increase to 4.3 percent in ongoing financial year 2016-17 and 5 percent in the next fiscal year 2017-18. In the preceding fiscal year, average annual inflation was recorded at 2.86 percent due to the historic decline in oil prices in international market.

The CPI Core inflation measured by non-food non-energy CPI (Core NFNE) increased by 5.5 percent on (YoY) basis in April 2017 as compared to increase of 5.3 percent in the previous month. According to the PBS data, the Sensitive Price Indicator (SPI), which gauges rates of kitchen items on weekly basis, has increased by 1.51 percent during the first ten months of the year 2016-17 as against the same month of last year. Similarly, the wholesale price index (WPI) based inflation increased by 4 percent in the period under review.

Food and non-alcoholic beverages prices have increased by 3.9 percent. Similarly, health and education charges went up by 13.42 percent and 12.52 percent, respectively. Similarly, prices of utilities (housing, water, electricity, gas and fuel) increased by 5.1 percent in last the month.

Meanwhile, the prices of alcoholic beverages and tobacco went up by 11.24 percent, clothing and footwear at 3.4 percent and furnishing and household equipment maintenance charges 2.21 percent. Recreational charges and those related to culture went up by 0.17 percent in the period under review, while amounts charged by restaurants and hotels by 5.34 percent in April 2017 as compared to the same month last year.

In food commodities, prices of fresh vegetables increased by 20.64 percent, fresh fruits 8.74 percent, chicken 3.34 percent, potatoes 2.81 percent and rice price surged by 2.55 percent. Likewise, in non-food items, education charges enhanced by 6.5 percent, personnel equipment by 2.08 percent, water supply 2.08 percent and house rent surged by 1.52 percent during April as compared to March.

According to the PBS figures, price of tomatoes decreased by 5.57 percent, onion 2.77 percent, wheat 2.65 percent and pulse gram by 1.49 percent.

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