The economic situation in Pakistan has been deteriorating rapidly. Resulting in a sharp increase in the prices of all utilities and necessities in the country. According to media reports, the prices of onions, wheat, and other commodities have reached unprecedented levels in recent months.
Inflation Rate and SPI Data
Based on official data, the inflation rate in Pakistan, as measured by the Sensitive Price Indicator (SPI), has increased by 47 per cent year-on-year, according to the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS) for the week ending March 22. This surge came after the cost of necessities continued to rise, exacerbating the country’s economic woes.
Price Hike of Various Commodities
A pk-revenue report reveals that the prices of several commodities have seen a significant increase in Pakistan. For instance, onions’ prices have risen by 228.28 per cent, and wheat flour by 120.66 per cent. Cigarettes by 165.88 per cent, gas for the first quarter by 108.38 per cent, and Lipton tea by 94.60 per cent.
Other commodities that have experienced a surge in prices include diesel (102.84%), bananas (89.84%), gasoline (81.17%), and eggs (79.56%), among others. Among the 51 products tracked, 26 saw a price increase, 13 saw a price decrease, and 13 remained unchanged.
Foreign Exchange Reserves and IMF Loans
As per the same report, Pakistan’s foreign exchange reserves increased to $10.14 billion for the week ending March 17, 2023. It is worth mentioning that Pakistan is currently grappling with a shortage of foreign currency to maintain its balance of payments, mainly due to the ongoing economic crisis and the suspension of IMF loans.