Hitting the lowest in seven months, inflation rate drops to 10.2 per cent in March

In rural areas, the inflation rate was 9.4pc in March, the same rate as it was last month.

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The Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS) has revealed that the inflation rate during March fell to 10.2pc from 12.4pc.

For the first time since July 2019, inflation metrics by the Consumer Price Index (CPI) have seen a downward trend for the second month in a row. There are many factors that contribute to this, such as an improvement in the supply of eatables and reduced prices of energy items.

Data collected from markets to determine the monthly inflation rate shows that many markets remained open during the first half of March. However, keeping them operational would be a big challenge in April amid the country lockdown.

On the contrary, shops selling groceries, vegetables and fruits have been allowed to open for a limited time.

The decline in prices of fruits, vegetables, and pulses has been noted along with the decrease in prices of LPG cylinders.

An official from the statistics division told news outlets that the PBS collects data from markets up to the 15th of each month relating to groceries and food items.

On the supply side, chief secretaries of the provincial government have issued instructions to deputy commissioners to keep a check on supply, availability, and prices of items in their districts.

IMF and ADB projections:

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has estimated that the country’s inflation may rise to 13pc, the government, on the other hand, has claimed that it will remain within the range of 11-13pc for the current fiscal year. The Asian Development Bank in its outlook projected annual inflation in Pakistan at 12pc.

The core inflation rate in urban areas was 7.4pc in March as against 8pc last month. In rural areas, the inflation rate was 9.4pc in March, the same rate as it was last month.

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