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Pakistan

February: Pakistan's inflation reading drops marginally to 12.2%

  • Average inflation during 8MFY22 amounts to 10.52%, compared to 8.25% in 8MFY21
Published March 1, 2022

Despite a marginal drop, inflation remained in double-digits as Consumer Price Index (CPI)-based reading clocked in at 12.2% on a year-on-year basis in February 2022, compared to an increase of 13.0% in the previous month and 8.7% in February 2021, showed data released by the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS) on Tuesday.

“This takes 8MFY22 average inflation to 10.52% YoY compared to 8.25% in 8MFY21," said a note by brokerage house Arif Habib Limited (AHL).

Inflation has remained a thorny issue for the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government, as the economy continues to face a widening current account deficit amid the surge in global commodity prices, especially oil.

The situation prompted Prime Minister Imran Khan to reduce prices of petroleum products in a wide-ranging address to the nation on Monday, surprising many as it comes after oil crossed $100 a barrel last week. The move also comes in tandem with the opposition saying it is set to propose a no-confidence motion in parliament to oust him.

Khan's speech, which included other measures such as reducing electricity tariff, is widely being seen as being aimed at pacifying the public that saw inflation hit a two-year high in January.

Meanwhile, in the international market, oil futures rose on Tuesday morning, following a volatile start to the week, as the market weighed a coordinated international release of crude inventories against Russian supply disruptions in the wake of Moscow's invasion of Ukraine.

Pakistan's January inflation reading hits 13%, highest in two years

Inflation reading in February

CPI inflation in urban areas increased 11.5% on a year-on-year basis in February 2022 as compared to an increase of 13.0% in the previous month and 8.6% in February 2021. On a month-on-month basis, it increased by 0.9% in February 2022 as compared to an increase of 0.1% in the previous month and an increase of 2.3% in February 2021.

CPI inflation in rural areas increased by 13.3% on year-on-year basis in February 2022 as compared to an increase of 12.9% in the previous month and 8.8% in February 2021. On a month-on-month basis, it increased by 1.5% in February 2022 as compared to increase of 0.9% in the previous month and increase of 1.1% in February 2021.

The Sensitive Price Index (SPI) inflation on YoY increased by 18.7% in February 2022 as compared to an increase of 20.9% a month earlier and an increase of 11.9% in February 2021. On a monthly basis, it increased by 1.3% in February 2022 as compared to decrease of -0.8% a month earlier and increase of 3.1% in February 2021.

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