Pakistan’s inflation surges again as food prices rise

Islamabad: The recent sharp increase in the food prices in Pakistan has again pushed the inflation up, forcing people to face difficulties amid multiple economic challenges faced by the country, a media report said.

Inflation measured through the Sensitive Price Index (SPI) posted an increase of 0.08 percent for the week ended on January 6 driven by a sharp increase in the prices of essential food and non-food items, data released by the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS) showed on Friday, reported Dawn.

The SPI-based inflation showed positive growth after a decline last week. In recent months, the highest weekly inflation jump was recorded last November with rise of 1.81 percent.

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The overall increase was mainly due to an increase of 5.23 percent in potato price, followed by chicken 4.45 percent, bananas 2.56 percent, onions 2.12 percent, pulse masoor 1.55 percent, pulse gram 1.46 percent and pulse mash 1.44 percent. In non-food items, price of diesel and salt increased by 2.75 percent each and petrol 2.68 percent, according to Dawn.

It comes as Pakistan’s trade deficit surged due to the rise in imports.

The country’s trade deficit has surged to USD 24.79 billion during the first half of the current fiscal year, mainly on the back of a 63 percent year-on-year increase in imports.

Data for the July-December period showed that imports jumped to USD 39.91 bn from USD 24.47 bn a year ago. In contrast, exports during July-December also grew 25 percent to USD 15.13bn compared to the year-ago period, reported Dawn.

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