CPI settles at 3.2 percent in Dec 2015

KARACHI: The headline inflation Consumer Price Index settled at 3.2% as compared to 2.7% in November 2015 on the hike in the prices of food items, alcoholic beverages and tobacco, housing and education.

According to the data released by Pakistan Bureau Statistics, CPI decreased by 0.6% in Dec 2015 on monthly basis as compared to 0.6% increase in Nov’15. The main contributors to monthly CPI were the increase in prices of cigarettes but decline in prices of various food items.

Further details showed that decrease of 27.42%, 23.92%, 16.55% and 15.42% on monthly basis in the prices of tomatoes, vegetables, onions, and potatoes respectively helped to keep CPI prices in check for Dec’15.

The average inflation for Jul-Dec’15 was recorded at 2.08% compared to 6.08% for the corresponding period last year. Dec’15 core inflation measured by Non-Food Non-Energy (NFNE) increased by 4.1% on yearly basis compared to 4.0% increase in Nov 2015 and 6.7% in the same month last year.

On monthly basis, it increased by 0.2% in Dec 2015 compared to increase of 0.1% in previous month and 0.1% in Dec 2014. The rising food prices and deteriorating local currency has stopped the decline of inflation, but an up-tick in inflation figures could be seen in coming months.

However, the increase in numbers would be in line with SBP projections and estimates, as SBP has forecasted 4.5-5.0% annual inflation rate, while the government is targeting it below 8%.

The recent up-tick in inflation figures is unlikely to influence the central bank to hike the rate in near future, as it is more concerned about growth.

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