Inflation continues to be a persistent problem in Pakistan, with the latest figures revealing that it has remained above 40% for the seventh consecutive week. According to data released by the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics, inflation stood at 45.49% on a year-on-year basis for the week ending April 6, 2023. The increase in inflation is primarily attributed to rising prices of several essential items, including cigarettes, wheat flour, gas charges, diesel, and eggs, among others.
However, there was a glimmer of hope, as prices of tomatoes and powdered chilies decreased during the same period. But it was not all good news, as the SPI, which measures the price movement of essential commodities, recorded an increase of 0.92% over the previous week. Food items such as chicken, sugar, and potatoes saw significant price hikes, while prices of tomatoes, onions, LPG, and other items decreased.
The SPI is calculated weekly and includes 51 essential items from 50 markets in 17 cities across the country. During the week under review, prices of 27 items increased, seven items decreased, and 17 items remained stable.
The rise in inflation has sparked concern among the Pakistani public, with many blaming the government for its poor management of the economy. High inflation can severely impact the purchasing power of the public, making it increasingly challenging for them to afford necessities. The government must take urgent steps to address the root causes of inflation to ease the financial burden on its citizens.