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Inflation Rate Records 28.3% During January 2024 in Pakistan

Islamabad: The inflation rate during January 2024 across the Consumer Price Index (CPI) inflation recorded a year-on-year (YoY) increase of 28.3%, indicating a slight decline from the previous month’s figure of 29.7% in December 2023. Additionally, on a month-on-month (MoM) basis, the inflation rate increased by 1.8%, compared to a 0.8% increase in December 2023.

According to the monthly report issued by the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics regarding the fluctuation in prices, the Urban CPI YoY reached 30.2%, slightly lower than the 30.9% recorded in December 2023, and 24.4% in January 2023. This indicates a monthly decrease of 0.7% in urban areas and an annual increase of 5.8% in inflation.

In rural areas during January 2024, the inflation rate was recorded at 25.7%, down from 27.9% in December 2023 and 32.3% in January 2023. This signifies a monthly increase of 2.2% and an annual decrease of 6.6% in inflation.

The Core Inflation (Trimmed) for both urban and rural areas demonstrated a similar pattern, with YoY figures of 22.1% and 25.8%, respectively.

According to the Sensitive Price Index (SPI) for items commonly used by an average person, the inflation rate for January 2024 reached 36.2%, up from 35.3% in December 2023 and 32.3% in January 2023. This indicates a monthly decrease of 0.9% and an annual increase of 5.7% in inflation.

In the Wholesale Price Index (WPI), the inflation rate for January 2024 in wholesale markets was recorded at 27%, compared to 27.3% in December 2023 and 28.5% in January 2023. This implies a monthly decrease of 0.3% in wholesale markets, while an annual increase of 1.50% was recorded.

On a monthly basis, prices increased for chicken by 31.44%, tomatoes by 28.28%, onions by 27.87%, eggs by 17.22%, fresh vegetables by 8.31%, lentils by 7.63%, fish by 5.47%, tea by 4.93%, tea by 4.93%, dry fruits by 3.64%, mung beans by 3.26%, jaggery by 3%, sugar by 2.98%, telecommunications services by 15.68%, warm winter clothing by 6.84%, electricity prices by 6.45%, liquid gas by 2.35%, wedding halls by 2.35%, decoration items by 2.7%, coal and wood by 1.94%, and furniture by 1.49%.

Annual increases in the prices of certain items included natural gas by 519.16%, electricity by 70.55%, transport services by 41.03%, stationery by 41%, communication tools by 39.72%, books by 36.97%, machinery by 36%, washing soap detergent by 35.2%, marriage halls by 34%, newspapers by 34.15%, liquid gas by 28%, medicines by 27.45%, hospital expenses by 23.79%, tomatoes by 154.41%, sugar by 98%, fresh vegetables by 80%, hot spices by 61.92%, tea by 54.95%, fruits by 52.45%, jaggery by 50%, beverages by 45%, tea by 43.41%, eggs by 42.39%, lentils by 41.71%, flour by 40.77%, potatoes by 35%, dry fruits by 31%, dry milk by 29%, rice by 28.35%, and mung lentils by 27.98%.

There was a decrease in the monthly prices of certain items, including potatoes by 32%, cooking oil by 1.34%, ghee by 1.09%, and mustard oil by 0.18%.

Core inflation, excluding food and non-energy items, witnessed a modest decline as well. Urban NFNE YoY decreased to 17.8%, and Rural NFNE YoY decreased to 24.6% in January 2024.

The data revealed that various commodities contributed to the month-on-month and year-on-year percentage changes. In particular, increases in chicken, tomatoes, onions, and communication services played significant roles in the observed inflation patterns.

While the inflation rates remain elevated, the moderation in January 2024 suggests a potential easing of inflationary pressures. The government may need to implement targeted measures to address specific contributors to inflation, especially in the food sector, to ensure sustained economic stability.

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