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Thursday Dec 01 2022
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November inflation eases to 23.8% in Pakistan

People are busy in buying vegetables in roadside shop installed by the city government as people purchasing vegetables and fruits at government fixed retail prices in Islamabad. — Online/File
People are busy in buying vegetables in roadside shop installed by the city government as people purchasing vegetables and fruits at government fixed retail prices in Islamabad. — Online/File

  • Inflation number is in line with Ministry of Finance's outlook.
  • On a monthly basis, inflation moderates to 0.8% in November.
  • Going forward, economist expects inflation to come down further.


ISLAMABAD: The inflation rate eased to 23.8% last month compared to October's record high inflation of 26.6% in line with the Ministry of Finance's monthly outlook as the high base effect kicked in.

The latest inflation bulletin from the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS) also showed that the pace of price hikes also slowed down to 21.6% and 27.2% in urban and rural areas; however, the constant double-digit inflation in the country has adversely affected people’s purchasing power.

On a month-on-month basis, inflation moderated to 0.8% in November, compared to a whopping increase of 4% in the previous month and 3% in November 2021.

Economist Sana Tawfiq, while speaking to Geo.tv, cited a lower jump in food prices as a significant reason behind this month-on-month decline.

“Reasons for month-on-month moderation was lower jump in food prices with food index up meagre 0.1%, also transportation was down 0.1%.

“On the contrary; housing, clothing and household equipment indices were up monthly basis mostly showing a jump in winter-related items such as woollen garments and dry fruits,” she added.

The Ministry of Finance in its monthly outlook report had mentioned that inflationary pressure was expected to ease marginally in November due to smooth domestic supplies, unchanged energy prices and a stable exchange rate.

The prices of both non-perishable increased last month. The food group prices surged nearly 28.92% in November in comparison with the same month a year ago. The PBS data, however, showed that the prices of perishable food items decreased by 0.27%.

On a year-on-year basis, the pace of food inflation eased to 29.7% in cities and declined to 33.5% in villages and towns last month, according to PBS.

Non-food inflation dropped to 16.4% in urban areas and 21.4% in rural areas compared to the same month last year, according to the national data collecting agency.

Core inflation — calculated after excluding food and energy goods — eased to 14.6% in urban areas. However, it increased to 18.5% in rural areas. Tawfiq expressed concern over elevated core inflation as the economist believes higher core inflation is “alarming”.

“We expect headline inflation to come down further going forward, supported by high base,” Tawfiq predicted.

Price of essential kitchen items 

The prices of onions — an essential vegetable used in all households — were higher by over 34% last month compared to September, followed by a 14.79% increase in the rates of tea, and nearly 14.5% in various the price of potatoes and dry fruits, according to the PBS.

However, the prices of vegetables decreased in a range of 10-30%, chicken by 5.08%, and rates of various pulses by over 5%, according to PBS.