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Pakistan inflation rate eases to 3.25 percent in March

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s annual inflation rate eased to 3.25 percent in March from 3.86 percent a month earlier, the state Bureau of Statistics said on Monday. 

On a month-on-month basis, the inflation rate was 0.31 percent in March, the bureau said.

Food items such as onions, tomatoes and green chillies were the main reason behind the decrease in month-on-month prices.

Measured by the Consumer Price Index (CPI), the headline inflation indicator slowed down for the third consecutive month to 3.25% in March, said Pakistan Bureau of Statistics Director Prices.

The headline inflation remained low due to a high base impact and reduction in prices of the food items, Director Prices Rehman said.

The, non-food non-energy inflation, known as core inflation, spiked to 5.8% in March – the highest level recorded in the past three years. In a single month, core inflation jumped by 0.7%, which highlights the build-up of inflationary pressures.

Among 89 commodity groups of CPI, core inflation covers the price movement of 43 items. The State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) uses core inflation while formulating its monetary policy.

 

The PBS noted that the average inflation rate from July to March (2017-18) increased by 3.78 per cent compared to the same period from 2016-17. Similarly, the inflation rate increased to 3.25 per cent in March 2018 compared to the same month last year.

According to a PBS press release, in March this year, the consumer price index increased by 0.31 per cent, wholesale price index increased by 0.25 per cent while the sensitive price index decreased by 0.60 per cent.

In a comparison of prices of certain commodities from February 2017, the PBS stated that the price of betel nuts increased by 58.16 per cent whereas the price of tomatoes decreased by 54.33 per cent.

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