Skyrocketing inflation adds to problems of flood-weary people

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ISLAMABAD: As relentless rains continued to pound much of Pakistan, the prices of 23 essential items, including vegetables, skyrocketed as the weekly inflation — based on the sensitive price index (SPI) — surged by 1.83% week-on-week and 44.58% year-on-year during the week ended August 25.

Data released by the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS) showed that the average prices of 23 essential items, vegetables, eggs, pulses and other items rose during the outgoing week.

Prices of seven items, including sugar, cooking oil, bananas, etc have declined. Meanwhile, the rates for 21 essential goods remained unchanged.

The combined income group index went up from 216.02 points during the week that ended on August 18 to 219.97 points in the week under review.

The SPI for the lowest income group increased by 2.66% compared to the previous week. The index for the group stood at 225.48 points against 219.64 points in the previous week.

On weekly basis prices of following essential items rose:

Food items:

  • Tomatoes — 43.09%
  • Onions — 41.13%
  • Potatoes — 6.32%
  • Eggs — 3.43%
  • Powdered milk — 1.53%

Non-food items:

  • Cigarettes — 2.26%
  • LPG — 1.95%

On weekly basis prices of following essential items decreased:

Food items:

  • Pulse Masoor —1.18%
  • Vegetable Ghee (1kg) — 1%
  • Bananas — 0.61%
  • Cooking oil (5 litre tin) — 0.51%
  • Sugar — 0.28%
  • Mustard Oil — 0.07%

Torrential rains and floods have put huge pressure on the masses as they are deprived of basic necessities amid the disruption of agricultural produce and supply chains.

SPI is computed on weekly basis to assess the price movements of essential commodities at a shorter interval of time to review the price situation in the country. It comprises 51 essential items and the prices are collected from 50 markets in 17 cities of the country.