Islamabad : Pakistan's consumer price index (CPI)-based inflation rate soared to a record 38 per cent on a year-over-year (YoY) basis in May 2023, the highest since July 1965 - - except for a few years in between due to the lack of monthly data, Geo News reported.
According to figures from the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS), CPI-based inflation reached 36.4 per cent in April 2023 while rising 1.6 per cent month-over-month (MoM) in May. Brokerage Arif Habib Limited noted in a report, "This reading takes 11MFY23 average inflation to 29.2 per cent compared to 11.3 per cent in 11MFY22," as per Geo News, a Pakistani news outlet launched in October 2002.
While consumer prices in rural areas increased by 52.4 per cent year over year, food inflation in urban areas shot up by a staggering 48.1 per cent in May 2023 compared to May 2022.
While noting that inflation reached record highs, Arif Habib Limited Economist Sana Tawfiq remarked that on a month-over-month (MoM) basis "inflation clocked higher, up 1.6 per cent."
The analyst told Geo News that increased food, household, and apparel expenses were the main causes of the MoM hike.
She continued by pointing out that core inflation is still rising and recently exceeded 23 per cent YoY.
Tawfiq said, "We expect headline numbers to recede from June onwards with base-effect kicking in. However, domestic food and energy prices as well as further currency devaluation remain key risks to the overall inflation."
The latest spike of 38 per cent is higher than Sri Lanka's, which in May reported annual inflation of 25.2 per cent.
Inflation has been on the rise since the government implemented severe measures as part of the fiscal adjustments required by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to unlock frozen cash that has still not been delivered, Geo News reported.