Pakistan’s headline inflation quickened to the highest level in more than two years in May on rising food and fuel prices amid a weakening currency.
Consumer prices rose 13.8 per cent this month from a year earlier, according to data released by the government on Wednesday. That’s slower than the median estimate for a 14.4 per cent gain in a Bloomberg survey of economists and compares with a 13.4 per cent acceleration in April.
High global commodity prices and rising imports continue to fuel Asia’s second fastest inflation. The nation’s central bank has already raised interest rates by 675 basis points to check rising prices.
Food prices surged 17.3 per cent, while transport costs surged 31.8 per cent, the data showed.
Consumer-price gains are likely to pick up further after the government raised fuel prices late last month as part of efforts to meet conditions set by the International Monetary Fund to revive a stalled aid programme. Pakistan is looking to secure an agreement with the lender to access the remaining $3 billion of an existing loan to avert a default. The country needs about $36 billion in financing for the fiscal year starting July.
Other steps, including electricity and power tariff hikes, risk further stoking headline inflation.