Pakistan’s consumer price index (CPI)-based inflation hit 35.4% on a year-on-year basis in March 2023, up from 31.5% YoY in February this year and 12.7% YoY in March 2022, driven mostly by a spike in food prices. The data showed that the transport group saw an increase of 55% YoY, while inflation in urban areas rose to 33% YoY in March from 28.8% YoY in February. Arsalan Siddiqui, head of research at Optimus Research, said that inflation will keep to this range for the next two months before beginning to subside from June due to the high base effect. Siddiqui said this sharp rise in food inflation is largely due to increased wheat costs and higher rates for fruit due to Ramadan. Meanwhile, the transport index was driven up by a significant increase in auto rates in March, a rise in petrol, oil and lubricant prices, and higher gas prices over necessary adjustments in tariffs, the report said.
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