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Non-food group contributes 93pc to inflation

KARACHI: Non-food inflation’s weighted contribution to the overall Consumer Price Index (CPI) went up to 93.37 per cent in December 2018 from 88.78pc in the preceding month.

According to the State Bank of Pakistan’s Inflation Monitor — December 2018, the share of food inflation, however, witnessed a drastic fall in the overall CPI basket.

“The weighted contribution of food group to the overall inflation decreased to 6.27pc during December 2018, from 11.22pc in the previous month and 34pc in same period last year,” said the report.

This decline could be a relief for commoners but non-food inflation seems to have evaded the benefits of low food prices.

The jump in non-food inflation’s weightage came on the back of ‘housing, water, electricity, gas and other fuel’ which edged up to 39.55pc in December 2018, from to 37.56pc in November. The same share stood at 28.47pc in December 2017.

Transport was another driver of non-food inflation’s rising proportion in the overall CPI as it jumped to 17.35pc in December 2018, compared to 5.73pc in same period last year. Meanwhile, education’s share fell to 7.89pc in December 2018, from 11.85pc from same month last year.

Income group-wise, the report shows that those earning over Rs35,000 recorded the highest general inflation of 8.1pc, while people with income up to Rs8,000 witnessed the lowest price levels at 3.2pc.

The top five weighted contributors to CPI in December 2018 were house rent at 20.95pc, gas 15.65pc, motor fuel 8.92pc, education 7.89pc and meat 6.79pc. On the other hand, bottom five were fresh vegetables with a (negative) share of: 9.64pc, onion 7.48pc, tomatoes 4.23pc, potatoes 3.4pc and eggs 0.81pc.

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