The Pakistan Bureau of Statistics has reported a surge in monthly inflation, reaching 31.6% in February compared to the previous year. This inflation rate is measured using the Consumer Price Index (CPI) which tracks the prices of a basket of products.
The rise in prices has been largely driven by food and transport costs, and is the fastest rate of inflation ever recorded in Pakistan. Analysts have expressed concern that families will have to make difficult choices and sacrifices due to the rising cost of living.
This marks the highest inflation rate since data became available in July 1965, and research firm Arif Habib Ltd predicts that the rate will continue to rise in the coming months. In January, inflation surpassed 30%, after being above 20% for eight months from June to January.
This increase in inflation has resulted in a rise in costs across four categories, including transport, food and non-alcoholic beverages, alcoholic beverages and tobacco, and recreation and culture, with an increase of around 50% observed.
In February, prices rose by 4.3% compared to January, the highest rate since October’s 4.7%. The Pakistan rupee has also suffered, plunging by almost PKR19 against the US dollar prior to the central bank’s monetary policy review, due to concerns over a stalled International Monetary Fund (IMF) deal.
The rise in inflation in Pakistan, reaching historic highs in February, has had a significant impact on the cost of living for families across the country. With prices rising rapidly, families are facing difficult choices and sacrifices. The effects of inflation are likely to continue to be felt in the coming months, with research firms predicting further increases.
This rise in inflation has also had an impact on the value of the Pakistan rupee, highlighting the need for policy measures to address the issue. As the country continues to grapple with the economic effects of the pandemic, finding ways to manage inflation and support families will be critical in ensuring a sustainable recovery.