Consumer Inflation Increases by 10.50% in August 2019

Consumer Inflation Increases by 10.50% in August 2019

Pakistan's consumer inflation rate grew to 10.50% year-on-year in August 2019 as compared to the same month last year. However, on the basis of old methodology and old base year of 2007-08, the rate of inflation in August was 11.63% as against 10.3% a month before.

Pakistan Bureau of Statistics has changed the base year for price statistics from 2007-08 to 2015-16. The Governing Council directed that the Consumer Price Index (CPI) for the new base year (2015-16) will be published along with CPI for old base year 2007-08 for some time.

Under the new system, the PBS analyses CPI of urban and rural areas separately and then combines both results to determine a CPI National which is considered to be the standard CPI-based inflation rate for the country.

The urban CPI covers 35 cities and 356 consumer items whereas the rural CPI covers 27 rural centers and 244 consumer items. In the new base year 2015-16, the National CPI for 12 major groups is also computed by taking a weighted average of urban and rural CPI.

The average inflation rate during the first two months of the current fiscal year (Jul-Aug) 2019-20 also grew by 9.44% as compared to the same period of last year

Consumer Price Index (CPI) Base Year (2015-16)

On a month-on-month basis, the CPI national (with the base year 2015-16) for the month of August 2019 increased by 1.64% over July 2019. The Urban CPI with the base year (2015-16) recorded an increase of 1.46% while Rural CPI with the base year (2015-16) recorded an increase of 1.91%.

The CPI with the old base year (2007-08) recorded an increase of 1.38%.

About the Old System

Member Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS) National Accounts, Dr Bahrawar Jan in a press briefing said,

In the old system of price monitoring, we used to give equal weightage to all areas including that of rural and urban areas, whereas in the new base year (2015-16), a number of new methodologies have been introduced such as introduction of general sales tax, other taxes and fuel price adjustment to compute electricity tariff etc.

Dr Bahrawar said that the monitoring of prices has now been made stringent through the utilization of modern technology.

Smartphones are now being used for the collection of data from each shop across the country which ensures that the price checking teams have personally visited (the shops) to collect the data, he added.

Sector-wise Inflation

According to the new methodology, the prices of food and non-alcoholic beverages went up by 12.62 percent during August. Out of the total, perishable food items witnessed an increase of 15.10 percent while non-perishable food items recorded an increase of 12.16 percent.

Similarly, the prices of:

alcoholic beverages and tobacco rose by 29.7 percent,

clothing and footwear by 8.9 percent,

housing, water, electricity, gas and other fuels by 7.07 percent,

furnishing and household equipment maintenance by 11.55,

health 11.93 percent,

transport 18.5 percent,

communication 4.3 percent,

recreation and culture 7.66 percent,

education 7 percent,

restaurants and hotels 6.15 percent,

miscellaneous goods and services by 13.18 percent.

Top few commodities which saw an increase from the previous year i.e. August 2018 in Urban areas were:

Gas charges(114.64%)

Chicken (75.27%)

Onions(61.11%)

Pulse moong (46.32%)

Cigarettes (37.96%)

Sugar(33.8%)

Commodities which decreased were:

Tomatoes (28.81%),

Liquefied Hydrocarbons (LPG) (15.19%)

Electricity charges (0.79%)

However, in the rural areas, the top commodities which varied from the previous year were:

Increased:

Onions (62.51%)

Chicken (56.48%)

Pulse Moong (50.97%)

Sugar (37.34%)

Cigarettes (32.37%)

Decreased:

Tomatoes (24.56%)

Liquefied Hydrocarbons (LPG) (2.36%)

Eggs (1.64%)

Gram Whole (1.51%)

Source: Pro Pakistani