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Business News/ News / World/  Pakistan's inflation at 31.44% in September, domestic cylinder costs over PKR 3,000
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Pakistan's inflation at 31.44% in September, domestic cylinder costs over PKR 3,000

Pakistan's inflation rose in September as the government raised fuel prices to meet IMF conditions for a bailout program.

Pakistan inflation surges again in September as fuel prices rise.Premium
Pakistan inflation surges again in September as fuel prices rise.

In September, Pakistan's inflation rose for the first time in four months after the government raised fuel prices to meet the International Monetary Fund's conditions for an ongoing $3 billion bailout program. 

Consumer prices jumped 31.44% in September from a year earlier, according to data from the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics. The reading exceeds the median estimate for a 30.95% increase in a Bloomberg survey and 27.4% notched in August. 

It suggests that policymakers have a case to increase the benchmark policy rate at the next meeting due on October 30. Record interest rates cooled prices for three straight months from June and prompted the central bank to hold fire in the last meeting. 

This month, the central bank expects inflation to rise because of a hike in energy prices with gains slowing through to June next year. This year, its average projection for price hikes ranges from 20% to 22%, Bloomberg reported. 

Pakistan's caretaker government raised fuel costs on surging global prices and plans to hike gas prices as part of IMF conditions to continue a bailout program that started in July. The moves are likely to increase living costs and may spark protests again among Pakistanis who are feeling the pinch.

Transport prices jumped by 31.26% in September from a year ago and food costs were 33.11% higher, official data showed. Housing, water, and electricity prices increased by 29.70%.

The country's Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (OGRA) increased LPG prices by 20.86 per kg after which it was fixed at PKR 260.98 per kg. In addition to this, the domestic cylinder price was also raised by PKR 246.16 and set new rates to PKR 3,079.64. 

Pakistan may get some relief from persistently high inflation after a recent government crackdown on dollar hoarders and smugglers. This has helped to make the rupee the best-performing currency in the world in September and could make imports cheaper.


(With Bloomberg inputs)

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Updated: 03 Oct 2023, 06:31 AM IST
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