CPI inflation decelerates to 12.4% in February

ISLAMABAD:The Consumer Price Index (CPI) based monthly inflation decelerated to 12.4 percent on year-on-year basis in February 2020 from 14.6 percent during January 2020, Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS) reporter Monday.

On month-on-month (MoM) basis, it decreased by 1.0% in February 2020 as compared to an increase of 2.0% in the previous month and an increase of 0.9% in February 2019.

The Month-on-Month decrease was significant in essential food items, which reflects substantial reduction in burden on the poor and a result of the government’s efforts to lower prices.

Better supplies of essential kitchen items helped in reduction of inflation burden on the common man.

Food inflation in urban areas came down from 19.5% in January to 15.2% in February 2020 whereas it came down from 23.8% to 19.7%. Overall CPI index is down by 1.04% from January 2020 and major contribution came from perishable food items (14.2%) over January.

The essential food items that witnessed decreased in prices in February over January included onion (8.8%), tomato (60.3%), potato (12.9%), fresh vegetables (11.5%) and wheat flour (5.3%). On non-food side major contributions for decrease came from LPG (13.5%) and electricity (13.5%).

Non-food inflation which entered into double digit zone for the first time in January came back to single digit in both urban and rural areas. Non-food inflation came down from 10.2% in urban areas in January to 9.1% in February 2020.

The non-food inflation in rural areas also followed downward trend as it came down from 10.5% to 9.8%. The core inflation slightly inched up as compared to January 2020 both in rural and urban areas and hovered around 8%.

The government is cognizant of higher inflation and recent measures taken by the government to lower burden of inflation will bear fruits in coming months. Inflation is likely to come further down in the month of March 2020.

Meanwhile, the overall Urban CPI went down to 11.2% on year-on-year basis in February 2020 as compared to an increase of 13.4% in the previous month and 7.2% in February 2019. On month-on-month basis, it decreased by 1.1% in February 2020 as compared to an increase of 1.7% in the previous month and an increase of 0.9% in February 2019.

CPI inflation Rural declined to 14.2% on year-on-year basis in February 2020 as compared to an increase of 16.3% in the previous month and 6.0% in February 2019.

On month-on-month basis, it decreased by 1.0% in February 2020 as compared to an increase of 2.4% in the previous month and an increase of 0.9% in February 2019.

Meanwhile, the Sensitive Price Indicator based inflation on YoY increased by 14.5% in February 2020 as compared to an increase of 18.3% a month earlier and an increase of 7.2% in February 2019.

On MoM basis, it decreased by 0.8% in February 2020 as compared to an increase of 0.5% a month earlier and an increase of 2.4% in February 2019. 5.

The Wholesale Price Index (WPI) on YoY basis increased by 12.6% in February 2020 as compared to an increase of 15.4% a month earlier and an increase of 13.9% in February 2019.

The (WPI inflation on MoM basis it decreased by 0.8% in February 2020 as compared to an increase of 1.8% a month earlier and an increase of 1.6% in corresponding month of last year i.e. February 2019.