The Consumer Price Index (CPI) witnessed a new round of inflation (increase in prices of goods and services) up to 9.1 per cent from 8.7 per cent in February.
Inflation took place primarily due to price increase in food items, clothing and footwear, say the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS).
Non-food items also witnessed a price hike due to higher energy rates in Pakistan. Due to the shortage of production, at the beginning of the current Fiscal Year (FY), inflation stood at 9.3pc in July that eased down to 8.2pc.
On a month-on-month (MoM) basis, inflation increased by 0.36pc due to the increasing price of cooking oil, sugar, wheat, pulses, petroleum products, and electricity charges.
Higher food prices pulled up inflation by 11.5pc YoY and 1.7pc MoM in the urban areas of Pakistan. The situation is similar in the rural areas where the food items prices increased 11.1pc YoY and 1.5pc, on MoM in March.
The MoM increase indicates that prices of essential food items will see a further rise next month. The weekly prices also show an upward movement which will drag monthly inflation.
The urban areas saw a price hike in March from the previous month included eggs 12.96pc, fruits 10pc, potatoes 9.54pc, chicken 6.58pc, sugar 4.82pc, tomatoes 4.67pc, pulse mash 4.57pc, pulse gram 4.39pc, rice 1.61pc, and wheat flour 1.46pc.
The items whose prices declined in urban areas were onions 2.37pc, dried fruits 2.19pc, fish 1.78pc and vegetable 1.48pc.
In rural areas, egg prices were higher by 15pc, chicken 12.21pc, potatoes 11.43pc, fruits 6.08pc, sugar 5.77pc, besan 4.71pc, pulse gram 3.89pc, gram whole 2.53pc, pulse mash 2.52pc, pulse masoor 2.18pc, vegetable ghee 1.58pc, cooking oil 1.53pc, and wheat flour by 0.97pc.
Whereas tomato prices decreased by 6.10pc, fish 1.14pc, condiments & spices 0.61pc, and wheat 0.33pc.
Average inflation measured by the Sensitive Price Index (SPI) surged to 18.7pc in March from 11.9pc during the previous month. On an MoM basis, it increased by 5.7pc in March.
The Wholesale Price Index was slightly up from the previous month’s 9.5pc to 14.6pc in March. WPI inflation MoM increased by 3.7pc in March.