ISLAMABAD – Pakistan's inflation skyrocketed to its highest level in 50 years as people of crisis hit country are struggling to get basic commodities.
Data shared by the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics revealed that inflation in the country increased to half a century’s highest level as the Sharif-led government makes desperate moves, raising power and fuel prices amid massive devaluation of local currency and restriction on imports which amplified the already grim situation.
With over 31.5% inflation, the South Asian nation becomes the 17th most expensive country in the world and is moving towards hyperinflation.
Fuel gas prices have seen the largest increase, the food prices rose manifold after floods and Russia Ukraine war, adding more woes to the life of the common man. The Consumer Price Index (CPI) increased to 31.5% in February against the same period last year, the seventh highest reading since 1973-74.
Pakistan Bureau of Statistics released the shocking stats a day before an emergency meeting of the Monetary Policy Committee as officials of the central bank will meet today to raise the interest rates, in line of demands by the IMF before release of bailout funds.
Pakistan’s inflation rate was likely to remain elevated because of the currency devaluation; hike in electricity and gas tariffs; and imposition of more taxes to meet the conditions agreed with the IMF.
Rice, which is considered a staple food, became expensive by 78 percent last month. Pulses prices saw up by over 60pc while ghee and cooking oil prices increased by around 51 percent. Tobacco prices soared by 49 percent; transport group prices increased by over 50pc.
Gas prices were increased by 63 percent, textbooks became 74pc expensive, the data shows.
Pakistani currency remains largely stable against US dollar and other currencies in the open market on February 24, 2024.
In the open market, the US dollar was being quoted at 279.5 for buying and 282.55 for selling.
On Saturday, Euro stands at 302 for buying and 305 for selling while British Pound rate stands at 352.5 for buying, and 356 for selling.
UAE Dirham AED hovers at 76.1 whereas the Saudi Riyal saw slight increase, with new rates at 74.35.
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