Pakistan’s inflation at 24 percent

August 13th, 2008 - 3:19 pm ICT by IANS  


Islamabad, Aug 13 (IANS) Pakistan’s inflation soared to 24.33 percent in the first month of fiscal 2008-09 that began July 1, reveals data released by the Federal Bureau of Statistics (FBS). This is a four-fold rise from the corresponding month of the previous year, when inflation was at 6.37 percent.

“The coalition government seems to have failed to control the price hike as the first month of the fiscal year witnessed the highest ever increase in inflation - 3.34 percent - over the previous month,” Dawn reported Wednesday.

“Rising food and fuel prices have boosted inflation measured through consumer price index (CPI) in the past few months,” it added.

The increase in domestic oil prices by at least five times has pushed up prices of every commodity since March.

“Although oil prices have fallen to $112 per barrel from $147 in the international market, the government has not passed on the relief to consumers,” Dawn noted.

FBS figures show that food inflation ballooned to 33.81 percent in July - the highest in the region and in the country’s history - over the corresponding month of the previous year.

Prices of non-perishable food items increased 35.40 percent and those of perishable items by 22.87 percent.

The price of potatoes, spices, tea, sugar, onions, milk powder, wheat, beverages, vegetable ghee, cooking oil, fresh milk, honey, milk products, bakery and confectionary items, meat, rice, cereals, eggs, precooked food and mustard oil “saw unprecedented hikes” in July, Dawn said.

“Analysts said that given the good monsoon expectations, there were signs of prices of perishable food products coming down.

“However, they cautioned that the price hike was pushing the country towards a long-term recession, which might lead to increase in poverty and food insecurity,” the newspaper added.

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