Prices of consumer goods continues to rise in December as inflation edged up to 12.3 per cent from 11.5 per cent, the highest in 21 months, local media reported citing the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS) data released on Saturday.
Inflation — measured by the Consumer Price Index (CPI) — has increased to its highest level in 21 months — driven by a record rise in global oil prices, undermining earlier gains, Dawn reported.
The Pakistani publication said that the recent rise in oil price prices was the highest ever in the country’s history, which is expected to lead to an increase in the cost of food items due to higher transportation charges.
The year-on-year increase in inflation in recent months is mainly driven by soaring prices of fuel, electricity, house rent, transport and non-perishable food items.
Food inflation is still on the higher side; in urban areas, it has shot up to 11.7 per cent in December on a yearly basis and a decline of 2.3 per cent on a monthly basis, whereas the respective growth in prices in rural areas was 9 per cent and a decline of 3.1 per cent, Dawn reported.
According to the PBS data, in rural areas, non-food inflation was higher than that recorded in urban areas – a reversal of the trend that is usually witnessed where urban areas experience higher inflation.
Citing the finance ministry report, the Pakistani publication reported that the global commodity prices surged to unprecedented levels, putting pressure on currencies and pushing inflation around the world to higher levels.
The Food and Agriculture Organisation has estimated that world food prices have climbed by 27 per cent, a 10-year peak, while developed countries such as the US and UK had seen their highest-ever increases in inflation.
Food items that saw an increase in their prices in December as compared to the previous month, included cooking oil 6.02 per cent, fruits 4.81 per cent, gram whole 4.71 per cent, gram flour 3.17 per cent, milk 2.83 per cent, mustard oil 2.71 per cent, vegetable ghee 1.79 per cent, fish 1.54 per cent, rice 0.90 per cent, while among pulses masoor increased by 8.64 per cent, mash 6.58 per cent and pulse moong 2.75 per cent, Dawn reported.