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Inflation hits two-year highest level of 13.76% in May 2022

Inflation surged by 12.36pc in urban areas and 15.88pc in rural areas. The inflationary trend was led by transport, which saw a 31.77pc rise, followed by food at 17.25pc. Prices of perishable food items increased by 26.37pc

ISLAMABAD: The latest data released by the Pakistan shows further increase in the inflation which hit 13.76% mark in May 2022. It is the highest in the past two and a half years. In April, inflation stood at 13.37pc year-on-year (YoY), which further surged to 13.76%.

According to the PBS, inflation increased by 12.36pc in urban areas and 15.88pc in rural areas. The inflationary trend was led by transport, which saw a 31.77pc rise, followed by food at 17.25pc. Prices of perishable food items increased by 26.37pc and non-perishable items by 15.94pc, according to the PBS data.

Other categories that saw a double-digit increase included furnishing and household equipment maintenance (16.11pc), restaurants and hotels (15.98pc), miscellaneous goods and services (13.32pc), recreation and culture (12.28pc), clothing and footwear (11.29pc), health (10.59pc) and alcoholic beverages and tobacco (10.13pc).

The finance ministry had highlighted accelerating inflation, along with other factors such as high external deficits, exchange rate depreciation, declining foreign exchange reserves and mounting uncertainty, among the challenges faced by the country in sustaining growth achieved in the last fiscal year.

The report noted that the primary contributors to increasing inflation were the surge in international commodity prices and a significant exchange rate depreciation. In fact, the depreciation of the rupee, both against the US dollar and on a trade-weighted basis, against the currencies of Pakistan’s main trading partners is primarily a reflection of the inflation differential between the country and its partners.

Further, relatively high domestic inflation is compensated by rupee depreciation. However, currency depreciation itself feeds into higher domestic inflation. In this sense, Pakistan is caught in a vicious inflation/currency depreciation spiral.

In the short run, a predicament to stop this cycle is to pursue restrictive fiscal and monetary policies, coupled with policies and announcements that restore market agents’ confidence. In the longer run, Pakistan’s main problems can be solved by designing a credible sustainable future economic trajectory that inspires consumer and investor confidence.

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I am an experienced writer, analyst, and author. My exposure in English journalism spans more than 28 years. In the past, I have been working with daily The Muslim (Lahore Bureau), daily Business Recorder (Lahore/Islamabad Bureaus), Daily Times, Islamabad, daily The Nation (Lahore and Karachi). With daily The Nation, I have served as Resident Editor, Karachi. Since 2009, I have been working as a Freelance Writer/Editor for American organizations.

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