Prices of essential items shoot up by 32pc ahead monetary policy announcement

Prices of essential items shoot up by 32pc ahead monetary policy announcement

ISLAMABAD: Prices of essential items have increased by 32 per cent ahead of monetary policy announcement, which is scheduled for January 23, 2023.

The inflation based on Sensitive Price indicator (SPI) increased by 32 per cent Year on Year (YoY) basis by week ended January 19, 2023, according to data released by Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS) on Friday.

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The inflation is the major concern for the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) while reviewing the benchmark policy rate.

The SBPis scheduled to issue a monetary policy announcement on January 23, 2023 as the market is expecting another hike of 100 basis points to bring the benchmark rate to 17 per cent.

SBP has increased policy rate by 900bps since September 2021 to curtail mounting inflationary concern and reduce pressure on the external front. However, lack of measures on the fiscal front and tug of war between political parties has derailed the economy into abyss.

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The PBS computes SPI on weekly basis to assess the price movement of essential commodities at shorter interval of time so as to review the price situation in the country. SPI comprises of 51 essential items collected from 50 markets in 17 cities of the country.

The year on year trend depicts an increase of 31.83 per cent, Onions (482.07 per cent), Chicken (101.93 per cent), Tea Lipton (65.41 per cent), Eggs (64.23 per cent), Diesel (57.34 per cent), Rice Basmati Broken (56.09 per cent), Pulse Moong (55.63 per cent), Rice Irri-6/9 (50.28 per cent), Salt Powdered (49.50 per cent), Bananas (47.73 per cent) and Wheat Flour (46.38 per cent).

While decrease is observed in the prices of Chillies Powdered (22.98 per cent), Electricity for Q1 (12.31 per cent), Tomatoes (9.41 per cent) and Sugar (0.25 per cent).

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The SPI for the current week ended on January 19, 2023 remained unchanged. Major increase is observed in the prices of food items, Rice Basmati Broken (3.54 per cent), Onions (3.50 per cent), Chicken (3.21 per cent), Bananas (3.04 per cent), Rice Irri-6/9 (2.43 per cent), Garlic (2.16 per cent), Bread (1.45 per cent), Cooked Beef (1.26 per cent), Tea Prepared (1.22 per cent) and Cooked

Daal (1.12 per cent), non-food items, LPG (2.34 per cent) and Washing Soap (1.54 per cent).

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On the other hand decrease is observed in the prices of Wheat Flour (5.98 per cent), Tomatoes (2.87 per cent), Potatoes (2.73 per cent), Sugar (0.94 per cent), Vegetable Ghee 1 Kg (0.50 per cent), Vegetable Ghee 2.5 Kg (0.41 per cent), Pulse Masoor (0.38 per cent), Eggs (0.09 per cent), Cooking Oil 5 Litre (0.07 per cent), Pulse Gram (0.05 per cent) and Mustard Oil (0.01 per cent).

During the week, out of 51 items, prices of 23 (45.10 per cent) items increased, 11 (21.57 per cent) items decreased and 17 (33.33 per cent) items remained stable.

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