In posting on Twitter, Pakistan’s prime minister claims government’s efforts are paying off with reduction in core inflation, consumer price index
Prime Minister Imran Khan on Sunday claimed that Pakistan’s inflation—a persistent concern of the incumbent government—had in January declined to a level lower than it had been when the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf-led government into power.
“Our [government] efforts to reduce inflation are now showing results,” he said in a posting on Twitter. “Consumer price index and core inflation are both now lower than when our government was formed. I have told my economic team to stay vigilant and ensure that inflation stays under control,” he added.
Planning Minister Asad Umar provided a few more details in another posting on Twitter. He said that inflation in the past month had declined to 5.7 percent, while core inflation had been brought to 5.4 percent. “[In July 2018] prior to the PTI government’s formation, CPI was 5.8 percent and core [inflation] was 7.6 percent,” he said. “The rate of inflation is lower today than when the PTI government was formed,” he claimed.
January 2021 marked the fourth consecutive month that the inflation rate has posted a decline from its peak of 14.6 percent in January 2020. Economists claim the higher ceiling is responsible for the reduction, as there is little room for rates of commodities to increase further owing to supply and demand.
Traditionally, January—apart from last year—has been a month of low inflation, with most governments posting single-digit rise due to better distribution of edibles and lower demand. According to the Economic Survey 2019-20, as well as data issued by the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics, while the rate of inflation might have reduced, it is unlikely to impact the average consumer, as prices of almost all essential items are ranging from 50 percent to 80 percent higher in the retail market right now when compared to the prices in 2017-18 prior to the PTI coming into power.
The last full year of the previous Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz) government, according to the Economic Survey, was 2017 and featured a consumer price index of 4.5 percent and core inflation of 4.7 percent.