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ISLAMABAD: The Consumer Price Index (CPI) witnessed an increase of 8.2 percent on year-on-year basis in August 2020 as compared to an increase of 9.3 percent in the previous month and 10.5 percent in August 2019 due to increase in prices of sugar, wheat, bakery and confectionary, milk fresh and readymade food, monthly review of price indices released by the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS) revealed.

The PBS said that on month-on-month (MoM) basis, the CPI increased by 0.63 percent in August 2020 as compared to an increase of 2.5 percent in the previous month, and an increase of 1.6 percent in August 2019.

The CPI data released on Tuesday attributed the upward trend in the monthly inflation to an increase in sugar (13.53 percent), wheat prices (11.95 percent), wheat flour (5.44 percent), wheat products (6.85 percent), bakery and confectionary (6.65 percent), beans (5.01 percent), milk fresh (4.79 percent), spices (2.81 percent), readymade food (2.22 percent), and rice (0.31 percent) in August 2020 in urban areas.

Moreover, the spike in inflation is also attributed to increase in electricity charges (11.61 percent, transport services (5.41 percent, cleaning and laundering (4.47 percent), motor fuel (3.34 percent), construction wage rates (1.44 percent), medical tests (1.29 percent), and household equipments (1.12 percent).

According to data, during the month, chicken prices decreased by 36.45 percent, tomatoes 31.83 percent, fresh fruits 23.15 percent, moong 6.5 percent, vegetables 2.78 percent, mash 2.28 percent, fish 1.87 percent, eggs 1.33 percent, gram 1.29 percent, besan 1.21 percent, masoor 0.98 percent, vegetable ghee 0.86 percent, and cooking oil 0.59 percent.

On annual basis, the prices of following commodities witnessed an increase: potatoes (62.44 percent), wheat (44.3 percent), beans (40.4 percent), spices (38.87 percent), moong (35.67 percent), mash (31.43 percent), eggs (28.65 percent, sugar (27.98 percent), butter (25.64 percent), wheat flour (23.38 percent), masoor (19.54 percent, vegetable ghee (16.38 percent), bakery and confectionary (15.74 percent), milk fresh (14.86 percent, mustard oil (14.59 percent), meat (12.24 percent), cooking oil (11.37 percent), sweetmeat (10.21 percent), tea (9.62 percent), readymade food (8.8 percent), beverages (7.26 percent), rice (7.03 percent), gram (6.89 percent, besan (6.42 percent, gram whole (4.42 percent), cigarettes (4.18 percent), and vegetables (1.51 percent).

Among the non-food items, following item prices increased; electricity charges (11.39 percent), woolen cloth (11.38 percent), cotton cloth (9.93 percent), tailoring (9.57 percent), furniture and furnishing (9.48 percent, drugs and medicines (7.9 percent), motor vehicle accessories (7.47 percent), construction wage rates (6.81 percent), medical tests (5.74 percent, construction input items (4.99 percent), stationery(4.58 percent), dental services (4.45 percent), house rent (4.29 percent), household servant (3.43 percent), and transport services (3.07 percent).

On an annual basis, some items witnessed decline including chicken (38.28 percent, onions (33.02 percent), fish (8.5 percent) and fresh fruits (1.32 percent) and motor fuel (10.25 percent).

The urban CPI inflation increased by 7.1 percent on year-on-year basis in August 2020 as compared to an increase of 7.8 percent in the previous month, and 10.6 percent in August 2019.

On month-on-month basis, it increased by 0.8 percent in August 2020 as compared to an increase of 2.2 percent in the previous month, and an increase of 1.5 percent in August 2019.

The rural CPI inflation increased by 9.9 percent on year-on-year basis in August 2020 as compared to an increase of 11.6 percent in the previous month, and 10.3 percent in August 2019.

On month-on-month basis, it increased by 0.4 percent in August 2020 as compared to an increase of three percent in the previous month and an increase of 1.9 percent in August 2019.

In rural CPI, prices of food items on month-on-month increased include sugar (13.31 percent), wheat (7.89 percent), wheat flour (4.36 percent), potatoes (3.73 percent), sweetmeat (2.63 percent), milk fresh (1.79 percent), rice (1.76 percent), eggs (1.43 percent), cigarettes (1.04 percent), readymade food (0.91 percent), and meat (0.74 percent).

The prices of some items decreased including tomatoes (33.94 percent), chicken (31.9 percent), fresh fruits (25.42 percent), moong (9.66 percent), vegetables (8.66 percent), mash (4.55 percent), spices (3.51 percent), gram (3.41 percent), gram whole (2.47 percent), besan (1.94 percent), and masoor (1.57 percent. Among the non-food items, prices increased include electricity charges (11.61 percent), motor fuels (3.55 percent), transport services (3.17 percent), furniture and furnishing (1.82 percent) and plastic products (1.58 percent) and decreased in liquefied hydrocarbons (0.18 percent). Year-on-year rural CPI increased among food items include, potatoes (65.14 percent), spices (48.79 percent), wheat (41.14 percent), beans (37.54 percent), moong (33.34 percent), eggs (30.36 percent), mash (27.83 percent), masoor (26.9 percent), wheat flour (26.22 percent), sugar (25.53 percent), vegetable ghee (20 percent), rice (15.6 percent), cooking oil (13.99 percent), bakery and confectionary (12.36 percent), tomatoes (11.87 percent), readymade food (11.6 percent), tea (9.18 percent), milk fresh (8.17 percent), besan (6.14 percent), beverages (5.97 percent), cigarettes (5.79 percent) and gram (5.76 percent), and decreased in onions (38.68 percent), chicken (26.99 percent), vegetables (4.79 percent), fresh fruits (2.22 percent), fish (1.78 percent), and gram whole (0.92 percent).

The Sensitive Price Index (SPI) inflation on YoY increased by 11.7 percent in August 2020 as compared to an increase of 13.7 percent a month earlier and an increase of 12.1 percent in August 2019.

On MoM basis, it increased by 0.9 percent in August 2020 as compared to an increase of three percent a month earlier, and an increase of 2.7 percent in August 2019. The Wholesale Price Index (WPI) inflation on YoY basis increased by 3.3 percent in August 2020 as compared to an increase of 3.2 percent a month earlier and an increase of 14.1 percent in August 2019.

The WPI inflation on MoM basis increased by 1.3 percent in August 2020 as compared to a decrease of 5.4 percent a month earlier and an increase of 1.2 percent in corresponding month of last year i.e. August 2019. Price of following items went up on account of the WPI on monthly basis: sugar refined (11.85 percent), wheat (10.55 percent), kerosene oil (10.06 percent), diesel oil (8.52 percent), wheat flour(8.09 percent), electrical energy (7 percent), sugar confectionary (6.12 percent), rice (5.91 percent), motor spirit (4.01 percent), spices (3.6 percent), potatoes (2.96 percent), unmanufactured tobacco (2.16 percent), paints and varnishes (1.91 percent), blankets (1.8 percent), woven fabrics (1.62 percent) and bricks, blocks and tiles (1.54 percent). The prices of some items witnessed decline including fresh fruits (8.25 percent), vegetables (3.89 percent), cotton seeds (2.01 percent), eggs (0.91 percent), and pulses (0.9 percent). Prices of the following commodities on account of the WPI, on annual basis, witnessed an increase: spices (77.96 percent), potatoes (53.47 percent), wheat (46.63 percent), sugar confectionary (38.48 percent), cotton fabrics (37.68 percent, wheat flour (36.46 percent, eggs (35.59 percent), sugar refined (27.85 percent), unmanufactured tobacco (24.51 percent), footwear (21.71 percent), raw milk from bovine animals (19.13 percent), cultivators (19.1 percent), meat of animals (17 percent), fresh fruits (15.16 percent), rice (14.86 percent), pulses (14.73 percent), vegetable ghee (13 percent), medicines (12.16 percent), hosiery products (11.83 percent), cotton seeds (10.85 percent) and electrical energy (10.83 percent). the following items prices witnessed decline; kerosene oil (37.13 percent), diesel oil (29.13 percent), and fertilisers (7.41 percent).

Copyright Business Recorder, 2020