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Inflation eased to 3.81pc in November


ISLAMABAD: (Web Desk) Annual inflation fell to 3.81 per cent in November from 4.21pc in the preceding month on the back of decline in perishable food prices, the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics said on Thursday.

The main inflation measured by Consumer Price Index (CPI) has been on rise since August 2016. The index rose 0.2pc month-on-month in November as compared to 0.8pc in October and 0.6pc in November 2015.

CPI tracks prices of nearly 500 commodities every month across the country.

Annual inflation target was projected at 6pc for the year 2016-17. In the previous fiscal year, average annual inflation was recorded at 2.86pc.

Average annual inflation in the first five months of this fiscal year — July to Nov — stood at 3.92pc as against 1.86pc in the same period of the fiscal year 2015-16 and 6.45pc in 2014-15.

In November, the food group, which has a weight of 37pc in the CPI basket, rose 3.3pc year-on-year due to rise in prices of perishable and non-perishable food items.

On a month-on-month basis, food inflation increased 0.2pc in November due to 0.69pc increase in prices of non-perishable products. However, the price of perishable products dropped by 2.51pc during the month under review.

The food items whose prices increased in November included egg 23.21pc, potatoes 21.14pc, pulse gram 7.28pc, besan 5.85pc, sugar 3.85pc, gram whole 2.62pc, mustard oil 1.46pc and dried fruit 1.44pc.

Core inflation, measured by excluding volatile food and energy prices, was recorded at 5.3pc in November, up 0.2pc from the previous month. This inflation has remained subdued since November last year because of a tighter monetary policy and reduction in food and fuel prices.

Government borrowing is one of the key factors influencing the trend of inflation as there is a positive relation between government borrowing and core inflation.

Non-food inflation was recorded at 4.2pc in November. It increased by 0.2pc from the previous month despite the fact that oil prices were kept unchanged.

Among the non-food groups, education and health indices rose 8.13pc and 11.54pc in November compared to the same month a year ago. The highest increase of 17pc was witnessed in the index of alcoholic beverages and tobacco.

The index of clothing and footwear rose by 4.23pc and that of housing, water, electricity, gas and other fuels by 4.92pc. Meanwhile, Sensitive Price Index edged up by 1.51pc and Wholesale Price Index by 3.05pc in November.

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