CPI recoups in January by 3.3 percent

KARACHI: Despite the lowest global oil prices since 2003, unregulated housing rent besides rising water, electricity, gas and fuel prices in Pakistan brought an upsurge in the Consumer Prices Index (CPI) in January.

While tumbling oil prices dragged almost all the world’s inflation into a negative territory, the CPI rose 3.3% on year-on-year basis in January 2016 as compared to an increase 3.2% in the previous month and 3.9% in January 2015, Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS) reported on Tuesday.

Increase in headline inflation is mainly attributable to combined effect of higher petroleum prices and higher food prices and of non-stop increasing trend in house rent, analysts said.

On month-on-month basis, it increased by 0.2% in January 2016 as compared to decrease of 0.6% in the previous month and increase of 0.1% in January 2015.

Resultantly, the average seven months headline inflation CPI for the period July 2015 to January 2016 settled at 2.2%. The main contributors to monthly CPI were the increase in prices of housing and electricity. Core inflation measured by non-food non-energy CPI (Core NFNE) increased by 4.3% on YoY basis in January 2016 as compared to increase 4.1% in the previous month and 6.4% in January 2015. On (MoM) basis, it increased by 0.9% in January 2016 as compared to increase of 0.2% in the previous month and 0.7% in January 2015.

Sensitive Price Index (SPI) inflation on YoY basis increased by 3.1% in January 2016 as compared to increase of 2.9% a month earlier and an increase of 1.1% in January 2015. On MoM basis, it decreased by 0.7% in January 2016 as compared to a decrease of 0.7% a month earlier and decreases of 0.9% in January 2015.

Wholesale Price Index (WPI) inflation on YoY basis increased by 0.1% in January 2016 as compared to decrease of 0.4% a month earlier and a decrease of 2.4% in January 2015. WPI inflation on MoM basis decreased by 0.5% in January 2016 as compared to decrease of 0.7% a month earlier and decrease of 1.0% in January 2015.

The PBS data stated that top few commodities that varied from previous month were sugar (5.98%), fresh fruits (5.24%), chicken (3.03%), pulse mash (2.89%), tea (1.71%), fish (1.23%), whole gram (1.13%) and dry fruits (1.12%). The food items that prices were decreased in January as compared to December were potatoes (38.21%), potaoes (29.40%), onions (14.17%) vegetables (5.38%), eggs (1.47%) and cooking oil (1.12%). Non-food items increased in January ware water supply (2.28%) House rent (2.03%), motor vehicle (1.44%) marriage halls charges (1.23%), firewood (1.0%), and decreased was Kerosene Oil (3.60%).

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