ISLAMABAD - Inflation rate has climbed to 4.2 percent during the month of October over a year ago due to the continuous increase in prices of food commodities last month.

The headline inflation measures through Consumer Price Index (CPI) rose by 4.2 percent in October this year as against the same month of the previous year, according to the latest data of Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS) released on Tuesday. Inflation is moving towards higher side from last few months after coming down to below 3 percent in last fiscal year (2015-16).

“We expect end-year inflation to remain contained at 5.3 percent in FY2016/17, well-anchored by prudent monetary policy”, Pakistan has stated in written to the International Monetary Fund (IMF). “We will remain vigilant to any signs of additional inflationary pressures in coming months and will continue to maintain positive real interest rates by setting the policy rate on a forward-looking basis,” it added.

For 2016-17, the government has set the inflation target at 6 percent, while the IMF and State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) projections are below that level. The PBS data showed that inflation has recorded at 3.95 percent during the first four months (July-October) of the current fiscal year as compared to same period of the previous year. The PBS data showed that Sensitive Price Indicator (SPI), which gauges rates of kitchen items on weekly basis, increased by 1.74 percent during the first four months of the year 2016-17 as against the same month last year. Similarly, the wholesale price index (WPI) based inflation increased by 3.17 percent in the period under review.

The breakup of 4.21 percent inflation, recorded in October, showed that food and non-alcoholic beverages prices increased by 3.58 percent. Similarly, health and education charges went up by 7.85 percent and 10.94 percent, respectively. Similarly, prices of utilities (housing, water, electricity, gas and fuel) increased by 4.9 percent in October 2016.

Meanwhile, the prices of alcoholic beverages and tobacco went up by 17.56, clothing and footwear at 4.19 percent and furnishing and household equipment maintenance charges 3.33 percent. Recreational charges and those related to culture went up by 1.37 percent in the period under review, while amounts charged by restaurants and hotels by 5.15 percent in October 2016 as compared to the same month last year.

In food commodities, price of chickens increased by 20.04 percent, fresh vegetables 6.09 percent and wheat price surged by 4.42 percent. Price of ‘besan’ enhanced by 3.68 percent and pulse gram price increased by 2.72 percent. Similarly, prices of gram whole, wheat flour, pulse moong and beverages have gone up during the month of October as compared to its preceding month.

Likewise, in non-food items, house rent surged by two percent, price of medical equipments enhanced by 1.25 percent. Drugs and medicines prices also recorded an increase of 1.04 percent in the month of October.

According to the PBS figures, prices of onions decreased by 7.28 percent, eggs 3.27 percent; pulse (mash) 2.76 percent and fresh fruits prices declined by 1.96 percent in October.