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Inflation hit four and half year high in January to 7.19pc

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s annual inflation rate surged to 7.19 per cent in January from 6.17 per cent a month earlier.

According to Pakistan Bureau of Statistics, the inflation rate is highest ever in the last four and a half years.

The unexpected rise in the inflation is attributed to the devaluation of rupee against the dollar by the State Bank of Pakistan.

On a month-on-month basis, prices increased by 1 per cent in January.

Rising liquefied natural gas and electricity prices as well as a spike in tomatoes, garlic and medicine were the main reason behind the January month-on-month inflation rise.

Weekly inflation for the week ended on January 31, for the combined income group witnessed an increase of 1.65 per cent as compared to the previous week.

Sensitive Price Indicator (SPI) for the week under review in the above-mentioned group was recorded at 242.14 points against 238.21 points registered in the previous week, according to data of Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS).

Similarly, as compared to the corresponding week of last year, the SPI for the combined group in the week under review increased by 8.89 per cent.

The weekly SPI has been computed with base 2007-08=100, covering 17 urban centres and 53 essential items for all income groups and combined.

Meanwhile, the SPI for the lowest income group up to Rs8,000 was also increased by 0.64 per cent as it went up from 220.80 points in the previous week to 222.21 points in the week under review.

As compared to last week, the SPI for the income groups from Rs8,001-12,000, Rs12,001-18,000, 18,001-35,000 and above Rs35,000 also increased by 0.72 percent, 0.75 percent, 1.82 percent and 2.62 percent respectively.