Your wallets shrank more than 10% this year
Chicken is selling at Rs400 per kg, even higher at some places, but inflation is slowing, according to data the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics released on Monday.
General or headline inflation, the overall increase in prices of essential goods and services, was 8.2% in May compared to 8.5% from the previous month, the PBS data showed. The PBS calculates the inflation rate by measuring the prices of a ‘basket’ of 480 common goods and services such as the cost of education, house rent, utility bills and food and beverages.
Not long ago, in January to be precise, the inflation rate was 14.6%, which was the highest rate in a decade. However, the prices have been falling since then primarily because of global demand suppression caused by coronavirus that sent oil prices crashing earlier this year.
In April, the inflation rate was back into the single digits, which slowed further in May. However, the average inflation remained just under 11% this fiscal year, shrinking your wallets by as much.
Among the commodities whose prices increased the most in one month, was chicken on top with an increase of 41.5% over the previous month. However, the PBS data doesn’t reflect the prices reported from across Pakistan last week. Chicken was selling for Rs400 in many cities right after Eid. This was more than double its usual price and well above what the PBS data reports.
Among other commodities that became the most expensive in a month, was potato whose price increased 31% and fruit and milk became 10% and 5% more expensive. On the contrary, onions, vegetables and eggs dropped 23%, 20% and 19%, respectively. The central bank, which controls inflation through its monetary policy, was expecting an inflation rate of 11% to 12% for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2020. However, it revised its forecast downwards following a countrywide lockdown and aggressively slashed interest rates by 5.25% to 8% in the last three months. It is now expecting inflation on the lower side of its earlier prediction.