As monsoon continues to play havoc in large swathes of Pakistan, the prices of 23 essential items, including vegetables, skyrocketed as the weekly inflation — based on the sensitive price index (SPI) — surged by 1.83% week-on-week and 44.58% year-on-year during the week ended August 25.

Data released by the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS) showed that the average prices of 23 essential items, vegetables, eggs, pulses and other items rose during the outgoing week.

Prices of seven items, including sugar, cooking oil, bananas, etc., have declined. Meanwhile, the rates for 21 essential goods remained unchanged.

The combined income group index went up from 216.02 points during the week that ended on August 18 to 219.97 points in the week under review.

The SPI for the lowest income group increased by 2.66% compared to the previous week. The index for the group stood at 225.48 points against 219.64 points in the previous week.

According to the data, on weekly basis prices of following tomatoes rose by 43.09%, onions by 41.13%, potatoes by 6.32%, eggs by 3.43%, powdered milk by 1.53%, cigarettes by 2.26% and LPG by 1.95%.

Meanwhile, prices of pulse Masoor reduced by just 1.18%, vegetable ghee (1kg) by 1%, bananas by 0.61%, cooking oil (5 litre tin) by 0.51%, sugar by 0.28% and Mustard oil by 0.07%.

Torrential rains and floods have put huge pressure on the masses as they are deprived of basic necessities amid the disruption of supply chains.

SPI is computed on weekly basis to assess the price movements of essential commodities at a shorter interval of time to review the price situation in the country. It comprises 51 essential items and the prices are collected from 50 markets in 17 cities of the country.

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