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Saturday, May 25, 2024  
16 Dhul-Qadah 1445  

Food pushes Pakistan inflation to record 36.4% in April

Officials hope inflation will slow down after June
People buy dry fruits at a market in Karachi, Pakistan February 1, 2023. Photo via Reuters.
People buy dry fruits at a market in Karachi, Pakistan February 1, 2023. Photo via Reuters.

Pakistan consumer prices, driven by food, rose a record 36.4% in the year to April, the highest inflation rate in South Asia and up from March’s 35.4%, the statistics bureau said on Tuesday.

Pakistan’s rural areas recorded food inflation of 40.2%, the bureau told Reuters. Food inflation for both rural and urban areas reached 48.1%, the highest since FY16 when the bureau started recording the categories separately.

“The higher reading was expected over the hyperinflation in the food segment,” said Amreen Soorani, head of research at JS Capital, a Karachi based investment company. “While the trend may continue for a couple of months more, the base effect is likely to kick in from June-2023, slowing the pace.”

Pakistan has been in economic turmoil for months with an acute balance of payments crisis while talks with the International Monetary Fund to secure $1.1 billion as part of a $6.5 billion bailout have not been successful.

The country has taken measures to try to secure the funding, including removing caps on the exchange rate, resulting in a depreciating currency, increasing taxes, removing subsidies and raising key interest rates to a record high of 21%.

Prices rose 2.4% in April from March, the bureau said in a press release.

Persistently high inflation has resulted in major lifestyle and consumption changes, with a greater number of people seeking help.

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