Inflation rate soars 24.9% with highest pace in 14 years

KARACHI: The inflation rate in the country soared to 24.9% in July — the highest pace in 14 years — because of exponential growth in the prices of perishable food and transport groups, the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS) reported on Monday.

On a month-on-month basis, inflation clocked in at 4.3% in the first month of the fiscal year 2022-23, compared to an increase of 6.3% in the previous month and 1.3% in July 2021.

According to the PBS, the CPI-based inflation rate jumped 23.6% in urban areas and 26.9% in villages and towns on a yearly basis. The constant double-digit inflation in the country has adversely affected people’s purchasing power.

The overall price growth remained in double digits because of an increase in the rates of food items, which were taxed by the last government.

Overall, out of 12 groups of various goods and services, the inflation rate for 10 of them remained in double digits. This indicates that the inflation web has spread across almost all commodities.

The prices of both non-perishable and perishable food products increased significantly last month. The food group prices surged nearly 29% in July in comparison with the same month a year ago. The PBS said the prices of perishable food items increased by 32.93%.

The inflation rate remained in double digits — which has eroded people’s purchasing power — due to an increase in the prices of food items and petroleum products. The pace of food inflation surged to 27.4% in cities and rose to 29.6% in villages and towns last month, according to the PBS.

Non-food inflation soared by 21.3% in urban areas and 24.5% in rural areas, according to the national data collecting agency.

Core inflation — calculated after excluding food and energy goods — jumped by 12% in urban areas and 14.6% in rural areas. Analysts say a continuous increase in core inflation is “alarming”.