ISLAMABAD: Inflation crawled up to 3.7% in April from 3.2% in the preceding month mainly because of increase in prices of perishable food items.
The inflation, measured through Consumer Price Index (CPI), perks up in April after witnessing a downward trend in the past three months, according to data released by the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics on Wednesday.
The CPI tracks the prices of around 480 commodities every month in urban centers across the country.
In the outgoing fiscal year, the CPI-based inflation reached a peak of 4.6% in December 2017.
The average inflation in the first 10 months (July-April) of 2017-18 was 3.77% as compared to 4.09% in the corresponding period last year. However, it remains below projected target of 6% for 2017-18.
Food inflation fell 0.2% on an annual basis but surged 1.5% on a monthly basis. Prices of non-perishable food items went up 0.82% while those of perishable products up 6.6% during the month.
Food items whose prices increased the most in April were fresh vegetables, up 15.3%, tomatoes 8.47%, fresh fruits 5.76%, chicken 4.34%, sweet meat 4.01pc, sugar 3.3%, betel leaves & nuts 2.1%, meat 1.78pc, spices 1.68%, condiments 1.66%, dry fruits 1.54%, jam & pickles 1.47%, fish 1.46%, beverages 1.42%, tea 1.36% and milk products 1.2%.
In the same category, onions dipped 10.66% month-on-month, potatoes 7.19%, eggs 5.06%, wheat 2.79%, gram flour 1.38%, pulse mash 1.37%, gram whole 1.33%, pulse masoor 1.13%, wheat flour 0.69% and wheat product 0.5%.
On the other hand, non-food inflation was up 6.4% year-on-year, and 2.1% on a month-on-month basis.
The slight increase in the non-food inflation is mainly due to increase in global crude oil prices in the past few months and their impact was passed on to the consumers.
Core inflation, measured by excluding volatile food and energy prices, was recorded at 7% year-on-year, and 2.5% on a month-on-month basis. Core inflation has been steadily rising for the past couple of months.
The gradual build-up of domestic demand is evident in the rising core inflation. Of the 89 commodity groups of CPI, it covers the price movement of 43 items.