Pakistan's inflation created a new record in January 2023 and reached its highest level after 1975. This comes amid supply constraints as thousands of containers of food items, raw materials and equipment are stuck at ports as the government curtailed imports due to a shortage of dollars in the country, The News International Newspaper reported.
According to The News International, Consumer Price Index (CPI) inflation in January 2023 accelerated to 27.55 per cent from 24.47 per cent a month earlier, as the unprecedented surge in food items' prices in the month jacked up the general inflation. In May 1975, the CPI inflation was 27.77 per cent.
According to the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS), the average inflation in July-Jan 2022/23 was recorded at 25.4 per cent against only 10.26 per cent in the same period of FY22.
The core inflation (excluding the food and energy components) also peaked in the month under review since 2011. It indicates that the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) will keep the discount rate elevated in the coming monetary policy review, according to The News International report.
According to the same report, on January 23, the central bank raised the policy rate by 100 basis points to 17 per cent, the highest since 1998, to help stabilise the economy. High inflation has become a nightmare amid the financial crunch and insufficient supplies.
Inflation also affected Pakistan's industries and businesses due to costly bank financing.
Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS) in the monthly inflation bulletin said that the village population was hard hit by inflation than in cities, as inflation in rural Pakistan was much higher. It is to be noted that nearly two-thirds of Pakistanis are living in rural areas.
Pakistan-based Dawn newspaper recently reported that prices of pulses in Pakistan are going up due to the non-clearance of imported shipments at the port amid delays in the approval of relevant documents by banks.
Rauf Ibrahim, the chairman of Karachi Wholesalers Grocers Association (KWGA) said traders on Thursday, held a protest outside the State Bank's head office against the non-clearance of over 6,000 containers of pulses at the port for the past two months due to a dollar shortage and banks' reluctance in approval of import documents, according to Dawn Newspaper.
Faisal Anis Majeed, a commodity importer/exporter, told Dawn that the wholesale price of gram pulse had risen to Rs205 per kg from Rs180 on January 1, 2023, and Rs170 on Dec 1, 2022.
The price of masoor reached Rs225 from Rs205 while it stood at Rs200 in December. The price of mash and mung went up to Rs335 per kg and Rs260 from Rs315 and Rs225, respectively. On Dec 1, mash and mung sold at Rs288 and Rs200. (ANI)